- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Appoints New First Assistant Attorney General As Mary Strother Becomes General Counsel to Northeastern
BOSTON — After five years serving in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, First Assistant Attorney General Mary Strother has been named General Counsel to Northeastern University. Today, AG Healey announced the appointment of Kate Cook as the new First Assistant Attorney General, responsible for helping to manage the legal work of the AG’s Office.
“Mary is an exceptional lawyer, a trusted advisor, and a friend,” said AG Healey. “Her leadership at the office will be sorely missed, but I am confident that Mary’s depth of legal experience and wise judgement will be a great benefit to all of Northeastern. We look forward to welcoming Kate Cook to this important role of First Assistant and know she will serve the people of Massachusetts well.”
Cook, a partner at Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, P.C., will assume the role of First Assistant Attorney General in January. At Sugarman Rogers, Cook has represented clients in all aspects of civil litigation, compliance counseling, and crisis management. Cook has also been leader of the firm’s government law and election law practice groups and draws upon her experience as a trusted legal and policy advisor and litigator to public officials at all levels of state and city government. Before joining Sugarman Rogers, she served as chief legal counsel to former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. Cook also has experience as the General Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Boston.
Cook has had an active pro bono practice focusing on civil rights and civil liberties. She recently served as local counsel with NAACP LDF representing amici Harvard students and alumni groups in support of Harvard’s race-conscious admissions, and frequently serves as a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts on issues ranging from separation of church and state, reproductive freedom, and open government. Cook holds degrees from Harvard University and Brown University and lives in Marblehead with her husband Tom and daughter Maggie.
“I am deeply honored by Attorney General Healey’s appointment, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Commonwealth,” said Cook. “The Attorney General’s Office is an advocate and resource for the people in so many critical ways, and I am thrilled to join this talented team in service to the people of Massachusetts.”
Today, AG Healey has also announced that Chief of Staff Gabrielle Viator will assume a new role as Chief Deputy Attorney General. As a skilled policy advisor and assistant attorney general, Viator has been in the office for over a decade and previously served as Deputy Chief and Senior Policy Advisor in the Policy and Government Division before becoming the office’s Chief of Staff. Before that, she was an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, investigating and bringing enforcement actions relating to housing discrimination, disability rights, predatory and discriminatory lending, public accommodations, and violations of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act.
“Gabe has been a close advisor to me for many years, and will bring her outstanding legal and policy experience, commitment to public service, and passion for teamwork to this important position,” said AG Healey. “I am excited to appoint her as Chief Deputy and look forward to her continued leadership of the office’s mission-driven work on behalf of the Commonwealth.”
Viator will assume the role of Chief Deputy Attorney General effective immediately.