By Elizabeth Lenart | Contributor
New Friends New Life announcesErin Nealy Cox, has been appointed to its 2021-2022 Board of Directors. 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. She represents corporations, boards of directors, and executives involved in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and high-stakes investigations and is a member of the firm’s Government, Regulatory & Internal Investigations Practice Group. Her practice focuses on matters arising from alleged violations of state and federal laws, including fraud, cybersecurity, public corruption, national security, workplace compliance, and issues involving board governance.
Erin Nealy Cox is widely known for her leadership and pioneering efforts to combat sex trafficking on both the supply and demand sides as well as her groundbreaking work to provide financial restitution to victims.
“We are incredibly honored to have Erin Nealy Cox, an extraordinary ally in the fight against sex trafficking, as the newest member of New Friends New Life’s Board of Directors,” said Tracey Nash-Huntley, Board Chair. “Without question, her leadership, commitment, and compassion combined with her innovative work to fight sex trafficking will be a huge asset to the board as we provide direction and support to NFNL’s chief executive officer, Bianca Davis, as she leads the agency forward.”
“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.”
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.
Throughout her two and a half decades in public service and private practice, she 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.
For more information, visit newfriendsnewlife.org or call (214) 965-0935.
About New Friends New Life:
Founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1998, New Friends New Life (NFNL) restores and empowers trafficked and sexually exploited teen girls, women and their children, and drives awareness of the issue and its prevalence. By providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health, and spiritual support, New Friends New Life helps women and their children overcome backgrounds of abuse, addiction, poverty, and limited opportunities. In 2020, NFNL served 330 members (clients). NFNL also educates the community and works to eradicate the epidemic of human trafficking through advocacy, legislative reform and strategic partnerships that address systemic causes. In 2018, NFNL opened a drop-in Youth Resource Center (YRC) in partnership with the Office of the Governor to serve trafficked and high-risk teen girls. More than 100 girls visited the YRC during its first year. In 2015, NFNL organized its Men’s Advocacy Group to engage men in the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation. For more information, visit http://www.newfriendsnewlife.org.