Vice Chair & General Counsel, Legal, Regulatory, and Compliance, KPMG
Tonya Robinson serves as Vice Chair and General Counsel–Legal, Regulatory and Compliance at KPMG LLP. As a member of the firm’s management committee, she oversees the Office of General Counsel, Office of the Chief Compliance Officer, Office of Government Affairs, and Firmwide Security. She also serves as the Secretary to KPMG’s U.S. Board of Directors and, in that capacity, is responsible for firm governance matters. In addition, Tonya, as Head of Legal and Compliance for the Americas Region, serves on the Americas Management Committee.
Before joining KPMG in 2017, Tonya served as the Acting General Counsel and, before that, Principal Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), serving as legal advisor to the Secretary and principal-in-charge of a legal office of nearly 600 professionals in HUD’s Headquarters, 10 Regional Offices, and 40 Field Offices. Prior to her federal agency service, Tonya was Special Assistant to President Obama for Justice and Regulatory Policy at the White House. As Special Assistant to the President, she focused on a broad range of civil and criminal justice policy matters, including, for example, fair housing issues, sentencing reform, voting and election reform, and workplace equality. She also managed several interagency processes, including convening the President’s National Equal Pay Task Force, which included the key federal departments and agencies focused on ensuring that American workers receive equal pay for equal work; co-chairing an interagency working group charged with addressing employment opportunities for individuals previously involved with the criminal justice system; and co-chairing an interagency roundtable to explore ways to leverage civil legal services to promote access to housing, education, employment, health care, and an array of other positive outcomes.
Prior to her service at the White House, Tonya was a partner at the international law firm WilmerHale LLP. Her practice at WilmerHale focused primarily on complex civil litigation and investigations, including Congressional investigations, as well as discrete civil rights matters. Tonya started her legal career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following her clerkship, she joined Wilmer (then Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering), where she worked on a range of litigation matters, including the ground-breaking University of Michigan affirmative action cases, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger. She left Wilmer in 2001 (and later returned) to work as counsel to then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs, where she focused on a mix of legal and policy issues, including corporate governance matters. Her work for then-Senator Biden marked Tonya’s fourth stint on Capitol Hill, having earlier worked as a legislative aide to Senator Terry Sanford (NC), Congressman David Price (NC), and Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX).
Tonya holds a B.A. degree in Public Policy Studies and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University, where she also served as president of the undergraduate student body. She also obtained a post-graduate degree in African Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar and her Juris Doctor Degree from Harvard Law School.