W. Neil Eggleston

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W. Neil Eggleston
White House Counsel
Assumed office
June 2, 2014
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Kathryn Ruemmler
Personal details
Born Warren Neil Eggleston
(1953-07-05) July 5, 1953 (age 69)[1]
Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Duke University (B.A.)
Northwestern University (J.D.)

Warren Neil Eggleston (born July 5, 1953) is an American lawyer who serves as the White House Counsel under President Barack Obama. Eggleston is the fourth person to hold this post during the Obama administration.

Early life and education

A native of West Lafayette, Indiana, Eggleston graduated in 1971 from West Lafayette Junior-Senior High School.[2] Eggleston earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1975 and then a Juris Doctor degree in 1978 from the Northwestern University School of Law.[3]

From 1978 until 1979, Eggleston served as a law clerk for Judge James Hunter III on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. From 1979 until 1980, he was a law clerk for Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger.[4]

Professional career

From 1981 until 1987, Eggleston was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the chief appellate attorney for the Southern District of New York. From 1987 until 1988, Eggleston served as deputy chief counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, which investigated the Iran-Contra Affair.[5] From 1993 until 1994, he served in the White House as associate counsel to the president.[5] Eggleston's work in the Clinton administration took place during congressional investigations into Clinton's Whitewater real estate transactions.[6]

After leaving the White House, Eggleston represented former colleagues during corruption investigations, including Clinton's transportation secretary, Federico Peña, and his labor secretary, Alexis Herman.[7] In both cases, no charges were ever filed.[7]

In 2001, Eggleston represented Cheryl Mills, who was a board member of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library foundation, during a congressional investigation into President Clinton's last-minute pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose wife had been a foundation donor.[7]

In 2005, Eggleston left the law firm of Howrey and joined the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton as a partner, where he remained until 2012.[8]

In 2007, Eggleston represented Sara Taylor, who was a White House political affairs director in the George W. Bush administration, during an inquiry from a congressional oversight committee into the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy and other Bush policies that Democrats believed had politicized the work of federal agencies.[7]

In 2009, Eggleston represented then-Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel during the prosecution of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.[6] Around that same time, he also represented then-Sen. Kent Conrad during a congressional ethics inquiry into a mortgage he had received from Countrywide Financial.[7]

From 2012 until 2014, Eggleston was a litigation partner at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, based in Washington.[9] Eggleston's private sector work included helping corporations navigate regulations imposed by the Obama administration.[10]

White House Counsel

On April 21, 2014, the White House announced that Eggleston would become White House counsel, replacing Kathryn Ruemmler upon her departure in May 2014.[4]

In May 2016 Eggleston wrote to Jason Chaffetz citing “executive privilege-related claim,” when House Oversight Committee held hearings to examine “White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” at which they wanted to hear from Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.[11]


Eggleston lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his spouse Penda Hair, who co-founded and co-directs the civil rights organization Advancement Project. His daughter Rachel graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 and his son Nathanael graduated from Duke University in 2015. Rachel is a Teach For America corps member in Rhode Island, and Nathanael played for the Duke University soccer team.[12]


  1. [1]
  2. "West Lafayette native named top Obama counsel". jconline.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Northwestern Alum Named New White House Counsel - Northwestern.edu". northwestern.edu. Retrieved 2015-07-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "President Obama picks W. Neil Eggleston as new White House counsel - Jennifer Epstein and Josh Gerstein - POLITICO.com". politico.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Kirkland & Ellis LLP > Lawyers". kirkland.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.newser.com/article/80b068bf006a44d38b43188c926854b4/neil-eggleston-clinton-white-house-lawyer-named-top-obama-counsel.html
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "The New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Debevoise & Plimpton LLP | News, Events and Publications | News | Announcements". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Kirkland & Ellis Hires Prominent White Collar Attorney Eggleston - The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times". legaltimes.typepad.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "West Lafayette native named top Obama counsel". jconline.com. Retrieved 2015-02-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. [2]
  12. "Nat Eggleston Bio".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Legal offices
Preceded by
Kathryn Ruemmler
White House Counsel