Geovette Washington serves as Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Legal Officer. In this capacity, she is the senior–most executive for legal and public policy matters at the University. She provides legal advice, counsel and support to the Chancellor, the University’s Board of Trustees, University Officers and other faculty and staff groups. She and the lawyers on her staff are responsible for providing legal advice on a host of issues across the University, including athletics compliance, construction and other commercial contracts, employment issues, environmental regulation, international initiatives, philanthropic and other financial documents, student discipline, research integrity and technology transfer.
Prior to joining the University, Geovette served as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the White House. Washington was named General Counsel of OMB in June 2013. In that capacity, she was a member of the OMB senior leadership team for the agency that is charged with the overall budget and management responsibility for the federal government. She provided legal advice and counsel to OMB leadership and staff, worked with other Executive Office of the President (EOP) offices to coordinate processes related to Presidential priorities, resolved and managed significant issues that cut across OMB components, and worked with the OMB director and deputy directors on critical issues to facilitate resolution within the EOP or elsewhere in the Executive Branch.
Prior to joining OMB, Washington served as deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Commerce, from April 2010 to May 2013. She was the second highest-ranking official in the Office of General Counsel for this cabinet-level agency with more than 40,000 employees. She worked closely with the General Counsel to fulfill his responsibilities as the chief legal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce and chief legal officer for the department, participating in the resolution of critical legal and management issues, including those of interest to the White House, the Congress and the public.
Washington’s move to the Department of Commerce followed 14 years in the District of Columbia litigation firm of Baach Robinson and Lewis PLLC (now Lewis Baach), where she was associate for four years and a partner for 10 years. She specialized in resolving complex commercial disputes through litigating, alternative dispute resolution processes, and negotiating settlements.
Washington began her career as a law clerk to the Honorable Aubrey E. Robinson Jr., senior judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She then served three years as special assistant to Assistant Attorney General Walter E. Dellinger III, in the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel.
Born to two public school educators and raised in Greenville, Georgia, Washington is a summa cum laude graduate of Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga., and received her JD degree from Duke University School of Law. Active in civic and professional organizations, she has served on the governing boards of Wesleyan College, William E. Doar Jr. Public Charter School for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia.