Social Services

Former US Attorney joins board of New Friends New Life

Written by Mindia Whittier

Board members support organization’s efforts to help women overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction and poverty.

New Friends New Life announces a new appointment to its 2021-2022 Board of Directors. Founded in 1998, NFNL restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence.

New board member Erin Nealy Cox is a fierce advocate against sex trafficking. The former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas is a partner in Kirkland and Ellis’ Dallas and Washington, D.C., offices.

Nealy Cox has been recognized nationally for her pioneering efforts to eradicate human trafficking through the efforts of the North Texas Trafficking Task Force. While working with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to revamp the task force, she attacked sexual exploitation from multiple angles, including the demand side.

In June 2020, the trafficking task force shut down CityXGuide, a leading source of online ads for sex trafficking, and used the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) to charge its owner with reckless disregard of trafficking. Additionally, she charged sellers as well as buyers and instituted a system to see restitution for victims. Nealy Cox was nominated for Texan of the Year by The Dallas Morning News in 2020 for her efforts.

“I have long admired the work of New Friends New Life as they work tirelessly to help women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty and limited opportunities,” said Erin Nealy Cox. “NFNL has long served as a vital resource to our community by providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support to victims of human trafficking. I am honored and excited to join them in this mission.”

Throughout her two and a half decades in public service and private practice, Nealy Cox has successfully tried numerous cases in federal courts. She has served at the highest levels of the Department of Justice as United States Attorney, in her role, she was recognized nationally for her work in developing strategic responses to benefit the eight million residents of the North District of Texas. In addition to her work to eradicate human trafficking, she was also recognized nationally and locally for her efforts to combat domestic violence through gun control initiatives.

Prior to her appointment as U.S. Attorney in 2017, she served as a senior advisor at McKinsey & Co.; managing director at Stroz Friedberg; Chief of Staff and Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy in Washington, D.C.; and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the North District of Texas. Nealy Cox graduated with a BBA in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a JD from SMU School of Law.

Nealy Cox joins a diverse board of community representatives including Tracey Nash-Huntley, NFNL board chair, community leader; Robin Bagwell, community leader; Nancy Best, business and community leader; Adam Cannon, VP of brand management, G6 Hospitality, LLC; Sherri Daniel, certified public accountant; Cole Edmonson, DNP, RN; chief clinical officer, AMN Healthcare; Kelley Grayson, VP, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; Ashlee Kleinert, community leader; Wendy Messmann, regional investment executive, US Trust, Bank of America; Paulette Miniter, associate attorney, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; Jane A. Rose, general counsel, Irwin R. Rose & Co.; Christa Sanford, partner, Baker Botts, LLP; Pat Schenkel, community leader; Shelly Slater, community leader, WFAA Special Contributor; Gail Turner, community leader; Jessica Turner-Waugh, actor & voice over artist; and Katherine Wynne, business and community leader.

About the author

Mindia Whittier