About Our Speakers and Panelists
Richard Cordray was elected Ohio Attorney General in November 2008. He previously served as Ohio Treasurer of State, Franklin County Treasurer, State Representative, and as Ohio’s first Solicitor General.
Cordray’s career has been guided by the spirit of community service and the belief that government should strive to make a positive difference in the daily lives of its citizens. As state representative, he sponsored the Ohio Community Service Education Act. An accomplished lawyer, Cordray has argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and taught constitutional law for 13 years at Ohio State University’s law school. In 2003, he earned the Presidential Service Award from the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation for his work supporting legal services for the poor, and in 2000 the Human Rights Campaign named him “Humanitarian of the Year” for his efforts to promote tolerance and understanding in communities.
As Ohio Treasurer, Richard Cordray managed the state’s investment portfolio of about $18 billion. His commitment to cutting costs, enhancing economic development, and promoting financial security among Ohioans earned national recognition in 2008, including the Excellence in Government Leadership Award from the Association of Government Accountants and NeighborWorks America’s Government Service Award as the foremost national leader in state government for his work on foreclosure prevention.
Cordray earned a master’s degree with first-class honors from Oxford University in England and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was the editor of the Law Review. He lives near Grove City, Ohio with his wife, Peggy, and their young twins. His earliest claim to fame was as an undefeated five-time champion on Jeopardy.
James A. Donahue, III
James A. Donahue, III, graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, in 1980 with a B.A. degree in journalism and government. After working as a newspaper reporter for a year, Mr. Donahue entered Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh. He graduated from Duquesne in 1984 with a J.D. degree.
After admission to the Pennsylvania Bar, Mr. Donahue worked for a small firm in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He joined the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in 1985. In July 1997, he was appointed Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Antitrust Section. In 2004, Mr. Donahue won the Marvin Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for leadership in advancing the goals of the Association. In July 2009, Mr. Donahue was appointed Chair of the NAAG Multistate Antitrust Task Force.
Mr. Donahue is also admitted to practice law in Massachusetts.
Ilene Knable Gotts
Ilene Knable Gotts is a partner in the New York City law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where she focuses on antitrust matters, particularly relating to mergers and acquisitions. Recent transactions in which Gotts advised include Publicis/Razorfish, Embarq/CenturyTel, Ashland/Hercules, Verizon/AllTel, Philips/Respironics, CVS/Caremark, URS/Washington Group, Suncom/T-Mobile, McClatchy/Knight-Ridder, Alcatel/Lucent, Conoco/Burlington Resources, and SBC Communications/AT&T Corp. Ms. Gotts is regularly recognized as one of the world’s top antitrust lawyers, including being recognized in the 2006–2009 editions of The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers, as one of the top five global competition lawyers, in the first tier ranking of Chambers USA Guide, and the “leading individuals” ranking of PLC Which Lawyer Yearbook.
Gotts previously worked as a staff attorney in the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission in conduct and merger investigations, and in the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. She is the Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law, having previously served in a variety of leadership positions including as the International Officer and Chair of the Mergers Committee. In 2006–2007, Gotts was the chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Antitrust Section; she has been a member of the American Law Institute for over a decade. Gotts is a frequent guest speaker, has had approximately 150 articles published on antitrust related topics, was the editor of the second and third editions of the ABA’s Merger Review Process Handbook and Law Business Research’s Private Competition Enforcement Review (2008). She is a member of the editorial board of The Antitrust Counselor, Antitrust Report, and Competition Law International publications and the advisory board of BNA’s Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report. Gotts is a member of the Board of National Law Alumni of Georgetown University Law Center, Advisory Board of Georgetown University Law Center’s Corporate Counsel Institute, the Lincoln Center Counsel’s Council, and Legal Advisory Board of Legal Momentum.
Scott Hemphill is an associate professor of law and the Milton Handler Fellow at Columbia Law School. His research and teaching focus on the balance between competition and innovation set by antitrust law, intellectual property, and sector-specific regulation. Recent work examines competition between rival drug makers, regulation of broadband Internet access providers, and intellectual property protection for original fashion designs. Prior to joining Columbia's faculty, Hemphill clerked for Judge Richard Posner and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Stephen D. Houck
Stephen D. Houck is of counsel to the New York City law firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP, where he specializes in antitrust law and commercial litigation. Houck is also Executive Director of the Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Inc., a not-for profit corporation founded to enhance the fair and effective enforcement of antitrust and consumer protection laws at the state level. In addition, Houck serves as Enforcement Counsel to eight states and the District of Columbia in the government lawsuit against Microsoft.
Houck was Chief of the Antitrust Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office from 1995 to 1999, under Attorneys General Dennis C. Vacco and Eliot Spitzer. During that time Houck represented the plaintiff states as lead trial counsel during the liability phase of the Microsoft litigation. He was also the states’ representative in the drafting of the Protocol for Coordination in Merger Investigations with DOJ and the FTC. In 1998, Mr. Houck received the Marvin Award, given by the National Association of Attorneys General in recognition of outstanding expertise, achievement, and leadership by assistant attorneys general.
Houck has been a partner in the New York City law firms of Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine and Reboul MacMurray Hewitt Maynard & Kristol. He was chair of the Antitrust Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, currently serves on its executive committee, and writes and speaks extensively on antitrust issues. Houck received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his law degree from Harvard Law School.
Jon Leibowitz was designated to serve as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on March 2, 2009, by President Barack H. Obama. Leibowitz was previously sworn in as a Commissioner in September 3, 2004, following his nomination by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
In joining the Commission, Leibowitz resumed a long career of public service. He was the Democratic chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee from 1997 to 2000, where he focused on competition policy and telecommunications matters. He served as chief counsel and staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism and Technology from 1995 to 1996 and the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice from 1991 to 1994. In addition, he served as chief counsel to Senator Herb Kohl from 1989 to 2000. Leibowitz worked for Senator Paul Simon from 1986 to 1987. In the private sector, Leibowitz served most recently as vice president for congressional affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America – from 2000 to 2004 – and worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington from 1984 to 1986.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. in american history (1980), Leibowitz graduated from the New York University School of Law in 1984. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and has co-authored amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court on issues ranging from gun control to the census.
Pete Levitas is a Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition. He joined the agency in March from Dickstein Shapiro, LLP in Washington, DC. He formerly was Staff Director and Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights Subcommittee, and he was Antitrust Counsel to the Subcommittee Chairman, former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine. Levitas also worked in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, and his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Christine Varney was confirmed as Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice on April 20, 2009. Since 1997, Varney was a partner at Hogan & Hartson’s Washington, D.C. office, heading up the firm’s Internet Practice Group. She was an associate at that firm from 1990 to 1992. Varney’s practice included providing advice and counsel on antitrust, regulatory, consumer protection, privacy, and intellectual property in various industries, including technology, media, airlines, and health care. She has also provided her expertise to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on international competition issues. She had rejoined Hogan & Hartson in 1997 after serving five years in the government.
From 1994 to 1997, Varney served as a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) working on a wide variety of technology-related issues including innovation markets, vertical theory, and privacy issues in the information age. Prior to becoming an FTC Commissioner, Varney was Secretary to the Cabinet in the Clinton Administration.
She is a member of several committees of the American Bar Association including the Antitrust Section, and served as chair of the Committee on Election Law. She has lectured in the United States and abroad, and has published articles on a variety of issues, including the computer industry, media, and privacy and data security.
Varney received her J.D. from Georgetown University in 1986. She received her M.P.A. from Syracuse University in 1978, and her B.A. from The State University of New York, University at Albany in 1977.
Phil Weiser is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International, Policy and Appellate Matters in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. He is on leave as a professor of law and telecommunications at the University of Colorado, where he also served as an Associate Dean. At CU, Weiser established a national center of excellence in telecommunications and technology law, founding the Journal on Telecommunications & High Technology Law and the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Over the last decade, Weiser has written and taught in the areas of competition policy, innovation policy, and Internet policy. In particular, Weiser has coauthored two books, Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age (MIT Press 2005) and Telecommunications Law and Policy (Carolina Academic Press 2006), numerous articles (in both law journals and publications such as The Washington Post and Foreign Affairs), and has testified before both houses of Congress. While a professor at CU, Weiser was active in a number of public service activities, briefing and arguing a number of pro bono cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, co-chairing the Colorado Innovation Council, and serving as the lead agency reviewer for the Federal Trade Commission as part of the 2008 Presidential Transition.
Prior to joining the CU faculty, Professor Weiser served as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division at the United States Department of Justice, advising him primarily on telecommunications matters. Before his appointment at the Justice Department, Weiser served as a law clerk to Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Supreme Court, and to Judge David Ebel at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Weiser graduated with high honors from both the New York University School of Law and Swarthmore College.