The U.S. Department of Justice’s third-highest ranking official, Rachel Brand, has left to become Walmart’s executive vice president of global governance and corporate secretary.
The Feb. 9 announcement by Walmart comes after national media speculation on her potential role into the special counsel’s investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election if Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein left the agency.
Brand will report to Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon, and will be responsible for the company’s Legal, Global Ethics and Compliance and Global Investigation, Security, Aviation and Travel departments, according to a news release from Walmart.
“We are fortunate to have a leader of Rachel Brand’s stature join the company,” McMillon said in the release. “We have strengthened our governance capabilities and Rachel will help us continue on that journey.”
Brand was associate attorney general at the Justice Department, and the subject of recent news coverage of the Russia investigation. As the third-ranking official at the agency, she would have overseen the Russian investigation had President Donald Trump fired Rosenstein.
Brand succeeds Jeff Gearhart, who retired at the end of January, according to the release.
She joined the Justice Department less than a year ago, and was the first female to serve as associate attorney general. She was a clerk of U.S. Supreme Court’s Justice Anthony Kennedy, and served in different positions under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.