Jill Wine-Banks is the author of a memoir, The Watergate Girl, and an MSNBC Legal Analyst. She also appears on PBS, Canadian and Australian television and radio, Sirius XM, NPR and other radio shows and podcasts. She co-hosts Intergenerational Politics Podcast. A sought-after speaker, Jill appears before professional, political, women’s and business groups, universities, and law schools. In addition, Jill has written OpEds for NBC.com, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Politico, Just Security, NY Daily News, Newsday and Huffington Post. She was featured in several films, including Academy Award winner Charles Ferguson’s Watergate, or How We Learned to Stop an Out of Control President, Robert Redford’s All The President’s Men Revisited, ABC 20/20, and Michael Moore’s Farenheit 11/8. She has over 450,000 Twitter followers and more on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Her memoir, The Watergate Girl, has been well reviewed.
Ms. Wine-Banks began her career as the first woman to serve as an organized crime prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. After just over four years, her trial capabilities and win record led to her selection as one of the three Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutors, and the only woman, on the obstruction of justice trial team against President Nixon’s top aides, including his Attorney General, Chief of Staff, and Chief Domestic Adviser. President Nixon was named an unindicted co-conspirator in that case. Her team delivered a briefcase of evidence to the House Judiciary Committee as a road map to impeachment. She was also a major player in the Watergate tapes hearing, cross examining Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon’s secretary, about the 18 ½ minute gap in a key White House recording.
At the conclusion of the Watergate case, Ms. Wine-Banks entered private practice at the D.C. offices of Fried Frank Harris Shriver and Kampelman, before being named General Counsel of the U.S. Army by President Carter where she supervised the world’s largest law firm, was a member of the Army Policy and Procurement Council and GC of the Panama Canal Corporation. She worked to eliminate the Woman’s Army Corps and integrate women into the Regular Army as well as into West Point and basic training. Ms. Wine-Banks has maintained her relationship with the Pentagon and was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to a Subcommittee on Sexual Assault in the Military, where she served from 2014 to 2017. The Subcommittee held hearings in D.C. and on military installations in the U.S. and abroad resulting in seven reports recommending improvements to the military’s handling of sexual assault cases, many of which have been adopted or enacted into law.
After the Pentagon, Ms. Wine-Banks returned to her hometown, Chicago, as a partner at Jenner and Block, before being appointed as Illinois’ first Solicitor General and then promoted to Deputy Attorney General (again the first female in that role). While there, she argued in the US and Illinois Supreme Courts, supervised all Illinois appellate cases and the Office of the Attorney General.
A national search then led to her appointment as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Bar Association, the largest professional association in America. She was the first woman in that role, too. This experience led to Ms. Wine-Banks’ decision to begin a corporate career at Motorola and later Maytag. At Motorola, Jill was responsible for international business development and the creation of cellular operating companies around the globe. Her first assignment was in Pakistan. Later, she was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of Motorola’s joint venture company in St. Petersburg, Russia and also worked in Ukraine, China, Singapore, Europe and South America, often interacting with government officials in those countries and in Washington, D.C. After seven years at Motorola, Ms. Wine-Banks was recruited to serve as Maytag’s Vice President of Alliance Management, working extensively in Japan and Europe.
After Maytag, Ms. Wine-Banks served as CEO of Winning Workplaces, a nonprofit dedicated to helping small and mid-size businesses be more profitable by being better workplaces, as the followed by five years as the Chief Officer of career and technical education for the Chicago Public Schools under Arne Duncan. In that role she worked with Chicago’s corporate community, post-secondary educational institutions, and government agencies, and created Chicago’s first early college program, DeVry Advantage Academy High School where students graduated after four years with a diploma and an Associate Degree. The school remains one of the most successful in CPS.
Ms. Wine-Banks’ corporate board experience includes service as a member of the Boards of Directors of Cenvill Development Corporation, a retirement home and real estate development company in West Palm Beach, Florida, and of Ashworth, a for-profit education company in the Sterling Partners Portfolio.
Her current and recent civic and charitable activities include Chair of the Policy Committee of the Better Government Association, Vice Chair of the Executive Service Corps Board of Directors, the President’s Advisory Council of Governors State University, and the Advisory Board of the National Veterans Museum. She is active in The Chicago Network where she was formerly on the Board. She has also served on the Boards of the International Women’s Forum, the ACLU, Operation Green Jobs, Project Lead the Way and on the Board of Advisors of Roosevelt, the Board of Overseers of IIT’s Kent Law School and as Fundraising Co-Chair of the Journalism School at UIUC.
Ms. Wine-Banks has been the recipient of many awards, including several from the United States Department of Justice and the highest civilian award given by the United States Department of the Army, as well as awards from Illinois Legal Aid Online, the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, the Women’s Bar Association, Impact Fund, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who in America. She also appears in other Who’s Who editions. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in New York City, and an Honorary Doctor of Law from Hood College.