Beth Wilkinson

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Beth Ann Wilkinson is a Washington, D.C. lawyer, and founding partner of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, a specialty trial and litigation law firm.[1] Formerly, she was a partner in the New York City-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where she worked in the firm's Washington, D.C. office focusing on white collar criminal defense.

Wilkinson is known for successfully arguing for the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.[citation needed] She has also been a critic of unfair administration of the death penalty.[citation needed] In April 2012 she was hired as outside counsel by the Federal Trade Commission to lead an antitrust inquiry into Google.[2]

Early life and Education[edit]

Wilkinson is a daughter of Judith and Robert Wilkinson of Richland, Washington. Her father is a retired Navy submarine captain and served as the director of the nuclear spent-fuel project in Hanford, Washington.[3] Wilkinson graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University in 1984 and later graduated with a J.D. from the University of Virginia Law School.[3]


She joined the United States Army's Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG Corps) after law school, serving at the rank of Captain as an assistant for intelligence and special operations in the office of the Army's general counsel. That office detailed her as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida to assist with the use of classified information in the prosecution of Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega.[4]

Justice Department[edit]

After completing her four-year obligation to the Army, Wilkinson became a full-time Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1991, prosecuting various kinds of cases including narcotics, white collar offenses, and violent crimes. Among her cases was the first United States prosecution of a bombing of an airliner—the 1994 case against Colombian narcoterrorist Dandeny Muñoz Mosquera, whom she successfully prosecuted for the bombing of an Avianca civilian airliner as well as murder of U.S. citizens and other drug-related crimes.[5]

Wilkinson won the Justice Department's highest honor, The Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award, for her work on the Mosquera case. She then became special counsel to the deputy attorney general, advising the top management of the Department on criminal policy and investigations. She was promoted to principal deputy of the Department's Terrorism and Violent Crime Section, and it was in that capacity that she participated in the trial team in U.S. vs. McVeigh and Terry Nichols. She won the Attorney General's Exceptional Service Award an unprecedented second time.[6]

After the Justice Department[edit]

After leaving the Justice Department, Wilkinson became a co-chair with Gerald Kogan of the Constitution Project's Death Penalty Committee of the Criminal Justice Program, "a bipartisan committee of death penalty supporters and opponents who all agree that the risk of wrongful executions in this country has become too high." [7] She also became a partner in Latham & Watkins, LLP, Washington, D.C., where she co-chaired the White Collar Practice Group and advised clients on internal investigations.[8]

Fannie Mae[edit]

In 2006, Fannie Mae recruited Wilkinson as parts of its effort to rebuild its relationship with regulators after accounting scandals and complaints about its corporate culture. Her compensation at Fannie Mae was not disclosed when she was hired.[9] She served as Fannie Mae's executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary from February 2006 until September 2008.[10]

She resigned her position at Fannie Mae along with three other senior executives on September 19, 2008, after the troubled mortgage giant was taken over by the government.[11]

Paul Weiss Partner[edit]

In 2009, Wilkinson was elected to partnership in the prominent New York City law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.[12] According to the firm's website, Wilkinson's practice will focus on general litigation.[13]


She married David Gregory, the former moderator of NBC News' Meet the Press in June 2000.[14][15] They have three children.[16] Her husband practices Judaism while she is a Methodist.[17] Wilkinson was previously married to Timothy Ogilvie, a Washington, DC consultant. The couple had no children and later divorced.


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