From the Supreme Court to the White House to a Light House: Demystifying Power
Jul 09, 2021
Preeta Bansal
From the Supreme Court to the White House to a Light House: Demystifying Power
Topic: Lincoln South Rotary Club Meeting 2021_0709
Time: Jul 9, 2021 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 811 2628 2040


Preeta Bansal has spent more than 30 years in senior roles in government, global business, law and academia. In the public sector, she has served as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the Executive Office of the U.S. President (White House) and as Solicitor General of the State of New York, where she helped lead 600 attorneys in the New York Attorney General’s Office and argued on behalf of the State of New York in the United States Supreme Court and other top appeals courts. She led the legal/regulatory personnel team for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition in 2008. In the private sector, she was a partner and practice chair at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP in New York City, and global general counsel in London for HSBC Holdings PLC, one of the world’s largest banks. While practicing law at Skadden, she served as a Commissioner and Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan federal human rights agency. In that capacity, she was a US diplomat and advised on the drafting of the Afghan and Iraqi constitutions, and worked with faith leaders, civil society groups, and government officials in a range of countries including Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. From 2015-2016, she served by appointment of the President of the United States as a member and committee chair of the President’s Advisory Committee on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, focusing on poverty and inequality in America.

After a long career scaling the heights of external and institutional power, Preeta has spent the last 8+ years more deeply plumbing depths of being for the source of – and ancient tools for accessing – internal power, as well as studying network science, quantum physics, and the role of emerging technologies in amplifying small shifts in behavior and consciousness. As a lecturer at MIT, she has taught on topics related to reclaiming human wisdom and authentic power in an age of artificial intelligence, exponential technology, and disrupted social and governance institutions.

Preeta Bansal is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and an independent corporate director of Nelnet, Inc. (NYSE: NNI). She graduated from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard-Radcliffe College, magna cum laude, where she served as Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review. She is a former law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (1990-1991). The first South Asian American to argue a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, she has been profiled by The New York Times as a “poised and playful” “superstar” and a “nimble, unorthodox thinker.” The New York Law Journal referred to her as “one of the most gifted lawyers of her generation, who combines a brilliant analytical mind with solid, mature judgment.” She received the National Organization of Women’s “Woman of Power and Influence Award” in 2006 and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal in 2008.

Preeta Bansal is a Lincoln, Nebraska native (and returned resident). She attended K-12 in the Lincoln Public Schools and graduated from East High School. Currently, she is Chair of the Board of Civic Nebraska; on the Advisory Board of both the Raikes School an the Johnny Carson Center for the Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska; board member of the Lincoln Community Foundation; Trustee of the Community Health Endowment; on the UNMC Chancellor's Board of Counselors; and a member of the President’s Council of the global United Religions Initiative. She is also a global anchor for ServiceSpace, a volunteer community building a global interfaith, intercultural social movement for nonviolence and love. She is an honorary board member of the Interfaith Center of New York City, and an advisory board member of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University Previously, she has served on numerous nonprofit boards including as a commissioner on New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s bipartisan Election Modernization Task Force, and as a Board Member of the New York City Bar, Human Rights Watch, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.