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Houghton College Graduate Neil MacBride ’87 Nominated as General Counsel by President Biden


Yesterday, the White House announced that President Joseph R. Biden selected Houghton alumnus, Neil MacBride ’87, to serve as the next general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department.

“Neil MacBride’s appointment by President Biden to this important government position illustrates perfectly why I am so excited to join Houghton College as its next President,” stated Houghton President-Elect Wayne D. Lewis, Jr. “Mr. MacBride offers an inspiring example of the College’s enduring mission to prepare women and men as Christ-like leaders committed to serving in a changing world.”

The announcement cited MacBride’s extensive service as a government official working on matters of law enforcement, national security, and financial enforcement. A partner in Davis Polk’s litigation department, he heads the Washington, D.C., office and co-chairs the firm’s white-collar defense and investigations group. MacBride’s clients describe him as “an extraordinarily gifted lawyer blessed with impeccable judgment and unwavering integrity… [who has] earned the trust and confidence of the judiciary.”

“As fellow alumni of Houghton College, and especially as fellow graduates of the History Program, we celebrate this appointment,” remarked Dr. Shirley A. Mullen, President Emerita of Houghton College. “Given Mr. MacBride’s tribute to the impact of Professor Katherine W. Lindley on his life given at the recent dedication of the Katherine W. Lindley Center for Pre-law and Constitutional Studies at Houghton College, I wish Professor Lindley had lived to enjoy this day!”

This latest nomination continues MacBride’s long and distinguished career of public service, including time spent as Associate Deputy Attorney General for criminal enforcement in the U.S. Department of Justice and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia under the Obama administration. Voracious readers of the Houghton Milieu (now Houghton Magazine) may recall a spirited article in the October 1989 issue, written by a young MacBride, chronicling his journey on the presidential campaign of a then-junior senator from Delaware, as well as several other campaigns. He concluded his reflection by saying, “I have seen close-up the need for both salt and light in the political arena. Regardless of party or ideology, Christians should not shy away from opportunities in public service.”

In 2009, Houghton College named MacBride Alumnus of the Year. That same year, he returned to campus to deliver the Founders’ Day address.

MacBride’s nomination by President Biden continues a legacy of Houghton graduates serving at the highest levels of government. This notably includes Dr. Deborah Birx ’76, who was nominated by President Obama as Ambassador at Large and U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator before becoming a household name last year as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator under the Trump administration.

About Houghton College 

Houghton College is a nationally ranked Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences and the best-priced Christian college in the nation. With an enrollment of nearly 1,000 students, Houghton has equipped graduates for lifelong success since 1883 through customizable programs offered in Houghton and Buffalo, N.Y., and online. The College offers more than 50 undergraduate in-person and online programs, including Equestrian Management, Data Science, Engineering and Christian Ministries, as well as graduate programs in Business, Education and Music. For more information, please visit

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