Christopher Meade ’96, LAA Luncheon honoree, recalls Treasury Department career

Christopher Meade ’96, general counsel and a senior managing director at BlackRock, was the honoree at this year’s Law Alumni Association Luncheon on January 29. Meade recently joined BlackRock after spending more than five years at the US Department of the Treasury, first as principal deputy general counsel, then as acting general counsel, and then as general counsel. He also received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor. Speaking at the luncheon, Meade reminisced about his Treasury years, which he described as “a magical time” in his life.

Christopher Meade '96

NYU Law’s first Sinsheimer Scholar, Meade has had an impressive career in both the public and private sectors. Following law school, Meade clerked for Judge Harry Edwards of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, who is an NYU Law adjunct professor, then for Justice John Paul Stevens of the US Supreme Court. Meade subsequently worked at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project as a Skadden Fellow before joining the law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he became a partner. While at WilmerHale, Meade argued four cases before the US Supreme Court.

Meade said that he did not originally plan to go into government: “When I finished my clerkships, government service actually didn’t have an allure.” But during his time at WilmerHale, Meade worked with a host of mentors who had served in government. These mentors talked about their time in government in glowing terms. “These individuals inspired me,” Meade said.  

Meade joined the Department of the Treasury about a year after the inauguration of President Obama. Meade spoke about the vast range of issues he touched while at Treasury.  As general counsel, Meade dealt with issues as diverse as the debt limit, financial reform, housing policy, foreign investments, sanctions, tax policy, and the Affordable Care Act.

Meade praised Treasury’s incredibly strong collegial culture, under both Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary Jack Lew. “I feel such loyalty to the people I worked with,” he said. 

Posted March 7, 2016