Jill Wine-Banks combines experience as a senior corporate executive and nonprofit CEO and COO with a successful legal career in government and private practice and service on corporate and civic boards. She began her career as an organized crime prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, where, after just over four years, her trial capabilities and win record led to her selection as one of the three Assistant Watergate Special Prosecutors in the Watergate obstruction of justice trial against President Nixon's top aides in which the President was named an unindicted co-conspirator. She was also a major player in the 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 Washington, D.C. offices of Fried Frank Harris Shriver and Kampelman, before being named General Counsel of the U.S. Army by President Carter. In the Pentagon, 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. From there Ms. Wine-Banks returned to her hometown, Chicago, as a partner at Jenner and Block. While there, she was appointed Solicitor General and then promoted to Deputy Attorney General of Illinois where 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. 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. 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 elsewhere, 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, and then from 2003 through 2008, she served under Arne Duncan as the Chicago Public Schools Chief Officer of career and technical education. In that role she worked with Chicago's corporate community, post-secondary educational institutions, and government agencies.
In 2014, Ms. Wine-Banks was appointed by the Secretary of Defense to the Judicial Proceedings Panel’s Subcommittee on Sexual Assault, where she served until June 2017. Her Subcommittee made seven reports in their effort to improve the military’s handling of sexual assault cases.
Her corporate board experience includes her 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 civic and charitable activities include Vice Chair of the ESC Board of Directors, the Board of the Better Government Association, 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 and the ACLU, Operation Green Jobs and 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 is a sought-after speaker for professional and business groups, universities and law schools. She is now an MSNBC Contributor and Legal Analyst. Before that she frequently appeared on other broadcast and cable channels and still appears on radio,, PBS, several podcasts, and Australian and Canadian television. She has also written OpEds for the Chicago Tribune, Politico, and Huffington Post.
She 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 the Girl Scouts, the YWCA, the Women's Bar Association, 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.