Dawn is an established leader with experience across law, government, politics, and philanthropy. She provides strategic advice and legal counsel to clients on complex legal, policy, and regulatory matters. Dawn also advises companies on cyber risk management, governance, and incident response.

In the Obama Administration, Dawn served as Executive Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, where she acted both as a principal advisor to the Secretary and as the chief regulatory officer for HHS, the third largest rulemaking agency in the federal government. During the Clinton Administration, Dawn served as Assistant to White House Chief of Staff John Podesta and as a Special Assistant in the Office of Management and Budget, where she assisted in policy development for issues affecting the District of Columbia. 

During the 2008 campaign cycle, Dawn was the New York State Political Director for the Obama for America campaign and a Regional Political Director for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Dawn also previously directed approximately $40 million of grant making at the Ford Foundation, and served as a Program Officer at the Open Society Foundations.

Dawn is a Board Member of the American Constitution Society, a national progressive legal organization with chapters in almost every law school across the country and lawyer chapters in more than 40 cities. Dawn also serves as a Commissioner on the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, having been appointed to that position by the New York State Senate Minority Leader.


Dawn’s past representations include: 

  • A financial institution in the preparation of an incident response plan in the event of a cyber attack
  • Barclays Capital in its defense against a $13 billion claim by the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate and creditors committee
  • Investors in two of the largest "feeder funds,” Fairfield Greenwich and Kingate, that financed Bernard Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme
  • Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg and the C.V. Starr Companies in connection with various regulatory and civil litigations, including claims brought by American International Group (AIG) seeking control of Starr’s board of directors and billions of dollars of Starr’s assets
  • The largest entertainment company in Latin America in a tortious interference lawsuit against a United States Spanish language television company
  • A major Mexican beverage distributor in an action alleging violation of its minority shareholder rights
  • Representation of plaintiffs in a national class action against agencies that colluded to pay low wages to au pairs
  • A petitioner for clemency as a part of President Obama’s clemency initiative

Publications & Presentations

Author, Linguistic Profiling and the Law, 15 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev 579 (2004).

Contributing Author, Law And Education: Affirmative Action Under Attack: Integrating Elite Law Schools and the Legal Profession: A View from the Black Law Students Associations of Harvard, Stanford, and Yale Law Schools, 19 Harv. BlackLetter J. 43 (2003)


  • Stanford Law School, J.D.
  • Boston University, B.A., magna cum laude, Linguistics with minors in Italian and Political Science



  • New York
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court: Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court: Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court: District of Massachusetts

Awards and Associations

American Constitution Society