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Danielle Gray

Senior Fellow

Expertise: Democracy, criminal justice, civil rights policy, and the judicial system

Danielle is a Senior Fellow at American Progress. Gray is also a partner at O’Melveny and Myers LLP in New York City, where she is a member of O’Melveny’s financial services practice group and provides counseling to financial institutions, health care companies, and other consumer financial services companies on complex regulatory problems and litigation. Gray also plays an active role in the firm’s appellate and white-collar and corporate investigations practices. Gray served in the Obama administration for five years in senior legal and policy positions, most recently as assistant to the president and cabinet secretary. In that role, she was responsible for policy and communications coordination among all cabinet-level agencies and worked closely with executive branch bodies on a range of high-stakes matters, from congressional investigations to the promulgation of agency rules and regulations.

Prior to this role, Gray served as deputy director of the National Economic Council, where she focused on labor, consumer financial protection, education, and training issues. In that capacity, she participated in key economic policy decisions, including implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act, regulatory policy and reform, and a variety of job-creation and skills initiatives for youth, veterans, small-business owners, and entrepreneurs.

Gray began her tenure in the Obama administration as a lawyer in the White House and U.S. Department of Justice. As associate counsel to the president, she served as one of the principal lawyers advising on the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and played a lead role in judicial selection and confirmation proceedings, including the successful confirmation processes for Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. As senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for the civil division, she was a member of the team that helped defend the ACA against constitutional and other challenges.

Gray is a graduate of Harvard Law School and has a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. She clerked for the Hon. Merrick B. Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.