Beth Nolan to retire as general counsel in June after 14 years

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Beth Nolan will retire this summer after leading GW’s legal services for almost 14 years.

Nolan, who worked as a GW Law professor for parts of the 1980s and 1990s and eventually returned to GW as general counsel in 2007, will retire June 30, officials announced in a release Tuesday. Nolan is the longest currently serving vice president at the University.

“Beth has been a consistent source of knowledge and legal advice at GW over these many years,” University President Thomas LeBlanc said in the release. “Through her contributions as a faculty member and her management of our Office of General Counsel, countless students, faculty and staff have benefited from her expertise, enabling GW to fulfill its teaching and research mission. I have personally valued her sound counsel and guidance as a member of my leadership team, and I am grateful for her service to our University.”

After leaving the law school, Nolan became the first woman to serve as counsel to the president, working under President Bill Clinton from 1999 to 2001. She had previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel and as an associate counsel to Clinton from 1993 to 1995.

“As I prepare to leave GW, I feel grateful,” Nolan said in the release. “Since I first came to campus in 1985 as a visiting associate professor in the law school, I have encountered many extraordinary people – my former law students and other students attending GW, my colleagues in the Office of General Counsel, the law school and across the University, members of our Board of Trustees and University leadership and others throughout the world of higher education. It has been an honor and a rich education to be associated with GW for so many years.”

She managed a wide-spanning practice as a partner at Crowell & Moring LLP prior to returning to GW as general counsel. Nolan also served as a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and as a presidentially appointed member of the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal.

Nolan is GW’s only remaining vice president who has served in their role prior to LeBlanc’s arrival in 2017.

She said the staff in her office strives to provide an “excellent level” of service to the University.

“I have been reflecting on the GW bicentennial this year,” she said. “GW has survived global crises and adapted to changing times with the accumulated efforts of the members of its community, and it is a privilege to have been part of that community.”

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