The United Church of Christ has hired Heather Kimmel to serve as associate general counsel of the UCC. Kimmel, a member of Plymouth Church UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio, was selected out of a pool of more than 50 qualified candidates and will begin her duties Aug. 1.
"We received expressions of interest from exceptionally well-qualified individuals," said Don Clark, UCC general counsel. "Heather was the best of the best."
In this role, Kimmel will serve under the direction of Clark as a common source of legal advice, counsel and representation for the General Synod, the executive council, the four covenanted ministries, and the conferences of the UCC. She will also work to provide and coordinate legal services and minimize legal risks and costs.
Kimmel is experienced in complex civil litigation and in corporate criminal and regulatory investigations. She joins the UCC from the international law firm Jones Day. She previously practiced at the Cleveland office of the national firm Baker Hostetler, and also served as law clerk to the Honorable Patricia A. Gaughan in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. For the past two years, Kimmel has taught white collar crime as an adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Ohio, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kimmel is a summa cum laude graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where she was a Public Service Fellow with the Dean's Special Recognition, and was awarded Order of the Coif for academic excellence. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Akron.
"I'm excited to help build the office of the general counsel," said Kimmel. "I am a member of the United Church of Christ and I am grateful for the opportunity to work for an organization that I so strongly believe in."
The search for the associate general counsel was conducted by Clark; W. Mark Clark, UCC associate general minister; and Edith Guffey, conference minister for the Kansas-Oklahoma Conference of the UCC.
"We are pleased that our search resulted in the selection of such an extraordinary candidate," said Mark Clark. "Heather's professional abilities, as well as her appreciation for the UCC, make her the ideal person for this role, and we are looking forward to bringing her on board."