Kumiki Gibson, a partner in the Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP and a former counsel to Vice President Al Gore, has been appointed vice president and general counsel of The Johns Hopkins University.
She succeeds Estelle Fishbein, who has retired after 28 years as general counsel.
Gibson will join the university this month. She was appointed by the university's board of trustees on the recommendation of President William R. Brody.
"Ms. Gibson comes to us with a well-earned reputation as a bright and articulate advocate, a strategic thinker, a talented manager and an engaging colleague," Brody said.
Gibson is a litigation specialist who prosecuted criminal civil rights violations as a Justice Department attorney and has both tried and managed complex civil cases in her private practice. She also represented law school deans who intervened as friends of the court last year in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases. Arguments on academic freedom raised in her brief and others were echoed in the Supreme Court's majority opinion, written by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
After serving in the Justice Department in 1992 and 1993, Gibson worked in the White House for four years during the Clinton administration, serving as associate counsel and then counsel to Gore, for whom she handled both legal and policy issues. She joined Williams & Connolly in 1997. Gibson is a 1985 graduate of Harvard University and earned her law degree in 1988 at Northeastern University.
Gibson said she was attracted to Johns Hopkins in part by the opportunity to work in a non-profit setting.
"I really was interested in working for a client with a mission in which I believe," she said, "and there is no more important mission than the educational and research mission of a place like Johns Hopkins."
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