Class of 2018
KAREN A. POPP is a partner and Global Co-Chair of the White Collar and Compliance Practice at Sidley Austin LLP, where she leads a group of over 175 attorneys. Karen has 25 years of experience representing corporations, Boards of Directors and members of the C-Suites, from a diverse range of industries and around the world in navigating crises arising from major corporate incidents or criminal and civil enforcement actions. Karen has considerable experience with overseeing internal and government investigations, corporate compliance, cybersecurity risks, the appropriate management of corporate books and records, and interactions with the finance and audit teams. In her practice, Karen has represented senior government officials including a previous U.S. President and Cabinet Member in two different administrations. Karen also has served as a trusted advisor to CEOs and Boards of Fortune 500 companies and private corporate entities.
Karen has considerable board and managerial experience at Sidley Austin. Karen recently finished ten years as a member of the Executive Committee (Board of Directors equivalent) for Sidley Austin, providing oversight for the firm’s 20 offices worldwide and more than $2 billion in revenue. In her role as Executive Committee member, Karen gained experience in formulating and implementing business strategy and policies, overseeing and managing a budget, forecasting and setting strategy for global expansion, overseeing and approving compensation practices, and overseeing and managing issues related to hiring. Karen served on several of the Executive Committee subcommittees. For example, Karen has gained considerable governance experience as a member of the Future Markets for Expansion Committee, responsible for global strategy, the Practice Development Committee, responsible for identifying industry growth and new business trends and launching branding/marketing initiatives, and the Diversity Committee, responsible for addressing the recruitment, promotion and retention of diverse lawyers. Karen also served on the firm-wide committees to hire, evaluate and compensate the employees before partnership.
Prior to joining Sidley Austin, Karen held top positions in government, serving as Associate White House Counsel to President Clinton, a lawyer in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, and a federal prosecutor in New York. She began as a commercial litigator specializing in M&A and other significant litigation matters.
Karen has extensive non-profit board experience. She has served as chair of a significant number of nonprofit boards, including the Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise, the Board of Trustees and Foundation for the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Higher Education Works Foundation. She also has served on the boards of Best Buddies International, Inc., Women in Law Empowerment Forum and the North Carolina Council for Women.
Karen graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif. She attended Oxford University and she received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she graduated cum laude.