Margaret C. Daun
In January of 2017, Margaret (“Maggie”) Daun became Corporation Counsel for Milwaukee County through appointment by County Executive Chris Abele and confirmation by the County Board of Supervisors. As Milwaukee County’s chief legal officer, she is responsible for the provision of civil legal services to all departments and elected officials in Milwaukee County, as well as various community-facing legal services including guardianship and psychological commitment proceedings. Her extensive financial sector and benefit plan experience is being put to use, as the County seeks to implement massive pension administration improvements and governance changes.
In March 2018, Ms. Daun filed suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors on behalf of Milwaukee County, and in doing so, helped to lead a wave of local governments nationwide pursuing similar lawsuits. In the 187-page complaint brought against 13 entities, the County seeks injunctive relief, as well as millions in compensatory damages.
To best serve the OCC’s motto, “Client-Driven. Citizen-Focused.,” adopted under Maggie’s leadership, Maggie’s management focuses on three key strategic initiatives as Corporation Counsel: (1) working towards full implementation of legal office management systems, (2) improved reporting and responsiveness to the OCC’s clients, and (3) working to educate and improve the diversity and inclusion of the Milwaukee bar through cooperative partnerships with Milwaukee’s premiere law firms and other local public and private general counsels.
- Oversees, manages and reports on the County’s litigation portfolio to policymakers and stakeholders
- Oversees, manages, and assists with the provision of legal services to County departments across all transactional matters, as well as reporting on same to policymakers and stakeholders
- Advises and counsels the executive and legislative branches of County government on statutory, regulatory, contractual, operational, administrative, ethical, and policy matters as requested
- Advises and counsels the Milwaukee County Pension Board across a wide range of issues such as fiduciary duties, investment performance management, and regulatory compliance; also provides insights and guidance to numerous pension stakeholder groups as requested
- Oversees and directs outside counsel retained to assist the County with transactional or litigation matters
- Represents Milwaukee County in certain critical appeals as requested
- Executive Director, City of Milwaukee Deferred Compensation Plan
- Assistant City Attorney, City of Milwaukee City Attorney’s Office
- Associate, Winston & Strawn, LLP, Chicago, IL
- Associate, White & Case, LLC, New York, NY
- Clerk, The Honorable Michael S. Kanne, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
- Marquette University, M.S. (Applied Economics)
- Marquette University, B.S. (International Business and Economics)
- Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New York State Bars
- United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Indiana, District of Colorado
Margaret (“Maggie”) Daun’s commitment to public service comes from her parents, who devoted their professional lives to service – her mother is a retired VA and elder care nurse and her father is the retired Deputy Comptroller of the City of Milwaukee. From a very young age, Maggie’s parents demonstrated the importance of serving others with tireless devotion and energy, even in the face of significant obstacles or setbacks. Just as importantly, Maggie’s parents also taught her to love cities, particularly Milwaukee, not only because cities are economic engines and cultural centers, but above all other reasons, because cities are the places that can connect and bind people together from all walks of life. That love of cities spurred Maggie to leave the Midwest and work first in New York City, with some international assignments, and then in Chicago. But the call to serve ultimately brought Maggie back to Milwaukee, which she has always considered home.
Prior to her work for the County, Ms. Daun was the Executive Director of the City of Milwaukee’s nearly $1 billion 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. As ED, Maggie focused on board operational and fiduciary best practices, maintaining a state-of-the-art investment option line-up, and behavioral finance-based plan innovation. She oversaw and guided a large revision to the Plan’s investment guidelines, the development and issuance of over 15 RFPs in two years, the issuance of quarterly performance analyses and annual fee disclosure, the monitoring of ongoing industry litigation, financial education programming for participants and communication best practices, the preparation of the Plan’s financials and budget, as well as its annual audit.
Under her leadership, the Plan was significantly restructured, including the introduction of target date funds, automatic enrollment features, the on-board of a new recordkeeper, consultant, and custodial bank, the introduction of new educational programming and a recurring annual enrollment period, as well as the implementation of a one-time system-wide re-enrollment. Because of this overhaul, employee participation increased approximately 20%, investment allocations improved markedly, and fees were lowered so dramatically that overtime, participants will save millions. This new Plan structure was selected by the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) for its 2017 Leadership Recognition Award, the top prize bestowed by the nation’s premiere governmental DC industry organization, and also by Pension & Investments magazine for its 2018 Eddy Award in the plan transition category.
Before taking over the ED position for Milwaukee’s 457(b) plan, Ms. Daun was an Assistant City Attorney for Milwaukee. In that capacity, Maggie advised the City’s $5+ billion pension fund on fiduciary and trustee governance, and served as the primary negotiator or oversaw many of the fund’s investment transactions, including private equity and hedge fund deals, as well as the fund’s custodial, actuarial, and auditor agreements. Also in her capacity as an Assistant City Attorney, Ms. Daun was responsible for handling some of the City’s more complex civil litigation and contractual matters, particularly those involving financial and economic analysis.
Prior to joining the City, Ms. Daun worked for two global law firms, White & Case LLP in New York City and Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago. At these firms, she specialized in the defense of securities fraud claims and other complex class action and commercial litigation matters.
Maggie is a frequently sought-after speaker on a wide variety of topics, including managing organizational change, the opioid epidemic, finance and economics, pensions and retirement planning, diversity and inclusion, as well as career planning, among other issues. Her signature passion, ability to explain things simply, and no-nonsense speaking style make her appearances compelling for both the expert and lay person alike. She has appeared on the nationally-syndicated television program Fox & Friends, as well as nationally-syndicated and local radio programs.
Maggie devotes herself to mentoring young attorneys and undergraduate students from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds. Ms. Daun is also an active member of Tempo Milwaukee, Momentum Milwaukee, the Marquette University Business Administration Alumni Association, and the College of Business Administration’s undergraduate curriculum review committee. She is a classically trained violinist who enjoys classical music, backpacking, cooking, rugby, gardening, French language and culture, travel, and fitness.