Stars of the Bar: 2010

WBA Honors General Counsels at the 2010 Stars of the Bar

The 2010 Stars of the Bar networking reception was held in the lobby of the beautiful Columbia Square Building at 555 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC, with light hors d'oeuvres and beverages from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and a brief program beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This year, we honored general counsels who have exhibited extraordinary leadership in advancing the progress of women in corporate law departments. The 2010 honorees include Beverly Burke, General Counsel of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas, which serves more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area; Robert Stern, General Counsel of Sodexo, Inc., the leading provider of integrated food and facilities management services in North America; and Simone Wu, General Counsel of  XO Communications, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies.

Beverly Burke, Vice President and General Counsel of WGL Holdings, Inc.
Ms. Burke is responsible for leading the legal work of the company which includes corporate, litigation, regulatory, labor and employment matters. She also supervises the functions of the Corporate Secretary and Chief Governance Officer as well as the Compliance Officer. Before joining WGL Holdings, Inc., Ms. Burke served for 12 years in the Office of the Corporation Counsel (now Attorney General’s Office) for the District of Columbia in civil litigation, appellate advocacy and as head of the criminal division. Earlier, she was a law clerk to the Honorable Norma Holloway Johnson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Robert Stern, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sodexo, Inc.
Robert A. Stern has been Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sodexo, Inc. since 1998.  He is responsible for the Law Department, Government Affairs, Compliance, and Corporate Security. . In March 1998, he became the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sodexho Marriott Services, Inc., a publicly traded company, when it was created in a spin-off and merger transaction. Sodexho Marriott Services later changed its name to Sodexo, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Sodexo, S.A., a publicly traded international company based in Paris. Sodexo is a leading food service and facilities management company with over 120,000 employees in the U.S., and over 340,000 employees worldwide in 70 countries. Mr. Stern received his BA from Oberlin College and his JD cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law.

Simone Wu, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of XO Communications
Ms. Wu has served as a Senior Vice President, the General Counsel and Secretary of XO Holdings and XO Communications, LLC since June 21, 2006 and prior to that served as a Vice President, the acting General Counsel and Secretary of the same companies since October 25, 2005. She served as a Vice President, the acting General Counsel and Secretary of XO Communications, Inc. from June 2005 until the consummation of our restructuring in February 2006. Prior to that Ms. Wu, who joined XO Communications, Inc. in October 2001 as Senior Corporate Counsel, was Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of XO Communications, Inc. from March 2004 until June 2005. Before that she was Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs at LightSource Telecom from January 2001 until October 2001, held legal and business positions at MCI WorldCom and AOL respectively, and began her legal career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.