ASPCA Elects Mary Jo White to Board of Directors

Former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission returns to Board of leading national animal welfare organization
June 16, 2017

NEW YORK – The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) today announced that Mary Jo White, former Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was elected to the ASPCA’s Board of Directors. Ms. White, who is currently Senior Chair of the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, previously served on the ASPCA’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2013, including a period as ASPCA Board Chair.

In January 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Ms. White to chair the SEC, a position she held from April 2013 to January 2017. Earlier this year, she returned to legal practice at Debevoise & Plimpton, where she had served as Chair of Debevoise’s Litigation Department from 2002 to 2013. From 1993 to 2002, Ms. White served as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the only woman to hold that position in the more than 200-year history of the Southern District. 

As ASPCA Board Chair, Ms. White was instrumental in facilitating the groundbreaking partnership between the ASPCA and the New York City Police Department, an alliance that elevated law enforcement dedication to fighting animal cruelty and is now producing triple-digit increases in animal cruelty arrests by the NYPD and victimized animals treated by the ASPCA.

“I am thrilled to once again align myself formally with the ASPCA and help guide its mission to save and protect the most vulnerable animals in the country,” said White. “There has never been a more important time to be a strong voice for animals in need.”

"Mary Jo’s unique perspective and contributions will be invaluable as the ASPCA continues to fight cruelty and improve the quality of life for at-risk animals,” said Fred Tanne, Chair of the ASPCA’s Board of Directors. “She is a tremendous advocate for animal welfare and for the ASPCA, and I look forward to working with her again.”

ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker said, “Mary Jo’s commitment to the cause of animal welfare has always been outstanding and an inspiring model for others. With her extensive experience in the justice system, she particularly understands the vital role animal welfare laws and regulations play in creating a more humane society. We welcome her return to the Board with great excitement.”

A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International College of Trial Lawyers, Ms. White has served as Director of The NASDAQ Stock Exchange, and on its Executive, Audit and Policy Committees. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ms. White received a B.A. in Psychology from the College of William & Mary, an M.A. in Psychology at the New School for Social Research, and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.