The Distinguished Law Alumni Awards honor alumni who have obtained distinction in their professional or academic careers. Those honored share the same characteristics of leadership, progressive thinking, high standards, uncompromising integrity, commitment, courage, and confidence. Their careers serve as models for WashULaw students and alumni.

  • Alice Conway, AB ’76, MA ’79, PhD ’83, JD ’83

    2023 Distinguished Alumna
    Alice Conway, AB ’76, MA ’79, PhD ’83, JD ’83
    Employer: Bayer

    Alice Conway is Assistant General Counsel for Commercial and Employment Law at Bayer and worked for many years at Monsanto before its merger with Bayer. She handles a wide range of commercial and employment law matters including negotiation of substantial contracts, administrative law cases, and dispute resolutions. She has recently provided leadership on teams handling risk assessment, integrating Bayer and Monsanto, developing a managed services program, modernizing Procurement workflows, processes and policies, modernizing relationships with farm labor contractors, handling a divestiture, and handling a construction project.

    Alice’s four degrees from Washington University, made possible by a Mylonas Scholarship and University Fellowships, are an A.B., M.M., and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and a Juris Doctorate in Law.

    Alice has provided leadership in various officerships, and pro bono legal services, to three Boards of Directors on which she sits– Opera in the Ozarks (launching young singers’ careers), NCCJ St. Louis (providing in-depth education on inclusion and equity), and St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired (empowering people with vision loss to regain independence). She recently joined the Board of the Lighthouse for the Blind.

    She is a Benefactor for WashU Arts and Sciences and is on the membership committee. She established the annual Carmelita Williamson Conway Scholarship in Arts and Sciences in memory of her mother, who pioneered equal and effective “mainstream” education for at least one blind child, Alice.

    She is on the Parish Counsel Stewardship Commission and the “All Things New” committee at her church, is a founding member of its evangelization ministry, teaches confirmation classes, is a lector, and sings in the church choir and in a secular music club.

    In the past, she was active in the Association of Corporate Counsel and wrote several law journal articles.

    In the most recent decade, she has won a Washington University Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award, a Women’s Justice Award from the Missouri Bar Association, two Servant Leadership awards in connection with her service to Opera in the Ozarks, and a Legacy of Leadership Award for service to St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

  • Mary G. Eaves, JD ’83

    2023 Distinguished Alumna
    Mary G. Eaves, JD ’83
    Employer: Dentons Bingham Greenebaum LLP

    Mary G. Eaves is a Partner in the law firm of Dentons Bingham Greenebaum LLP.  She has practiced in the area of employee benefits law since 1984.  Mary is a member of the American Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Association.  She is also a member and past President of the Louisville Employee Benefits Council.   Mary received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Dayton, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Washington University School of Law.  Her honors include Phi Beta Kappa and Order of the Coif.   Mary has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers.

    Mary is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Washington University School of Law.  She is also a member of the University of Kentucky Arts and Sciences Campaign Committee. Mary is a past Chair and current member of the Board of Directors of Family & Children’s Place in Louisville; she also serves on the Board Development Committee and Finance Committee of Family & Children’s Place. In addition, Mary is a member and serves on the Program Committee of the International Women’s Forum – Kentucky.

    Married since 1972, Mary’s husband is Jim Eaves, a patent lawyer and also a Partner in Dentons Bingham Greenebaum LLP.  Mary and Jim are proud to support an annual fund student scholarship at Washington University School of Law.

  • Meena Elliott, JD ’88, MBA ’95

    2023 Distinguished Alumna
    Meena Elliott, JD ’88, MBA ’95
    Employer: Kiverdi, Inc.

    Meena Elliott serves as President of Kiverdi, Inc. bringing leadership and a strategic enterprise-wide, global approach to business challenges and opportunities. Kiverdi is the carbon-negative launch pad to make food and materials from air and is the parent company of Air Protein.

    Meena’s depth and breadth of experience has helped companies in different life cycle stages achieve growth, scale, and transformation. Prior to joining Kiverdi, she served as an executive officer leading the global legal, human capital, government affairs, and compliance functions at Aviat Networks, a global wireless communications company formed through a simultaneous IPO and “merger of equals” between a division of L3 Harris and Stratex Networks, Inc. Previously, she held global business and legal executive roles at Energizer, Inc. an early stage SiriusXM in brand marketing holding profit and loss responsibility, strategy and led teams to commercialize products and served as Chief Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    Meena serves on the advisory boards of Entefy an AI start-up and Golden Poppy, an early-stage STEM-focused digital education company, and recently served on the Investment Committee of Purple Arch Ventures. She is the Vice Chair of Legal Momentum, a national non-profit. Meena received her BA from Northwestern University, located in Evanston, IL, and her JD and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

  • Hon. Alphonso Jackson, JD ’73

    2023 Distinguished Alumnus
    Hon. Alphonso Jackson, JD ’73
    Employer: A.R. Jackson Advisors, LLC

    Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, has decades of experience in housing and community development. His expertise includes the development of affordable and market-rate housing, handling complex urban development issues, and housing finance.

    Jackson serves on the United States Institute for Peace International Advisory Board, Ford’s Theater Society Board of Trustees and Howard University Board of Trustees. He also served on the United States Department of State Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board(Chair). He is a member of The Alfalfa Club and Horatio Alger Association(Board of Directors).

    After his government service, Jackson served as Vice Chairman of Mortgage Services with JP Morgan Chase, followed by Senior Advisor to the CEO at First Data Corporation(now Fiserv Corporation).

    Alphonso Jackson was appointed by President George W. Bush as the 13th Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in March 2004. Before being appointed Secretary, Jackson served as the Deputy Secretary of HUD, managing the daily operations of the $36 billion agency.

    Prior to his government service, Jackson was president and COO of American Electric Power-Texas, a $13 billion utility company and subsidiary of American Electric Power. Early in his professional career, he was president and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, ranked among the best-managed large-city housing agencies during his tenure.

    He has received many notable awards and honors, including The Aspen Institute – Aspen Fellow, The National Boys and Girls Clubs of America – Chairman’s Award, The National Academy of Achievement – Golden Plate Award, American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC) – Lifetime Achievement Award, The Jewish National Fund, New York – National Tree of Life Award, Truman State University – Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

    Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master’s in Education Administration from Truman State University. He also holds a Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, MO.

  • Hon. Jonathan Kanter, JD ’98

    2023 Distinguished Alumnus
    Hon. Jonathan Kanter, JD ’98
    Employer: Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice

    Jonathan Kanter is Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. President Biden nominated Jonathan on July 20, 2021, to serve in the role and the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment on November 16, 2021. As Assistant Attorney General, Jonathan is the nation’s most senior antitrust enforcement official and oversees a division of over 750 dedicated professionals.

    Throughout his career, Jonathan has been a leading advocate for strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy.

    Prior to joining the Department of Justice, he was the founder of a leading boutique antitrust law firm dedicated to promoting antitrust enforcement. Before starting his own firm. Jonathan was partner and co-chair of the antitrust practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP. Numerous publications and industry observers have ranked Jonathan among the most effective, innovative, and successful antitrust practitioners of his generation.

    Jonathan earned his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998.  He lives in Bethesda, MD with his wife and fellow Washington University School of Law alumna, Lisa, his children, Abby and Ben, and dog Murray.

  • Lingli Cheng, LLM ’13

    2023 Distinguished Young Alumna
    Lingli Cheng, LLM ’13
    Employer: Emerson Electric

    Lingli Cheng is Senior Associate General Counsel, Asia Pacific at Emerson Electric, a global leader in industrial automation headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.  In this role, Lingli is the lead lawyer for Emerson and its Commercial and Residential Solutions business platform in Asia, managing a variety of programs, providing legal services together with a team of eight professionals, and navigating regulatory challenges in the region. Prior to this role, Lingli was senior counsel for Emerson China and helped build a small but effective Emerson China legal team that provides comprehensive legal and compliance support to protect Emerson’s more than 40 years of investments and operations in China.  Before she joined Emerson, Lingli worked at Haiwen & Partners, a leading PRC law firm, where she assisted domestic and international clients in a wide range of matters such as foreign direct investment, M&A, dispute resolution, and other corporate legal matters.

    Lingli was raised in Anhui Province in China.  She studied at the East China University of Political Science and Law obtaining both an undergraduate and graduate law degree.  During a 3-year work-study program in St. Louis sponsored by Emerson, Lingli obtained her LLM from the Washington University Law School in 2013 and received the International LLM Best Advocate Award, while also raising her 3-year-old daughter. Lingli is qualified in both China and New York State.

    Lingli currently resides in Hong Kong with her husband, Fuyong An and their two children, ChengCheng, who was born in 2010, and Louis, who was born in and named after St. Louis in 2014.