Elizabeth Holtzman handles government relations at the federal, state and local levels. She also focuses on litigation.
Liz joined Herrick after more than 22 years in government, including 20 as an elected official. During her four terms as a U.S. Congresswoman, she captured national attention for her role on the House Judiciary Committee where she voted to impeach President Richard Nixon, and questioned President Ford about the Nixon pardon; chaired the Immigration and Refugees Subcommittee (where she co-authored with Senator Ted Kennedy the Refugee Act of 1980); co-founded and was elected and re-elected as the first Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues; and wrote many laws, including extending the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and the Rape Privacy Act. She was the first member of Congress to expose the U.S. government’s inaction on Nazi war criminals living in America and spearheaded the effort to bring them to justice. When elected, she was the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, a record she held for 42 years.
Liz subsequently became the first woman elected District Attorney in New York City, serving eight years as DA of Kings County (Brooklyn), where she argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court, and pioneered new strategies for the prosecution of sexual assault and environmental crimes. She also led the effort to end the practice of using peremptory challenges to remove African Americans from juries because of their race.
Liz was also the first and only woman to be elected Comptroller of New York City. In that position she managed $50 billion in the city's five pension funds and issued more than $20 billion in city bonds. Years later, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that Liz had proposed as Comptroller holding gun manufacturers liable for injuries caused by illegal guns.
In 2013, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel appointed Liz to the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, which reviewed the handling of sexual assault in the military, and developed recommendations for reform. In 2014, she was appointed chair of the successor Judicial Proceedings Panel. In 2014, Liz was also appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to its Advisory Committee. In 2018, Liz resigned to protest the policy of separating parents and children at the southwest border.
Previously, Liz was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Nazi and Japanese Imperial War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group, which oversaw the declassification of more than eight million pages of secret Nazi war crimes files held by the U.S. government.
Liz has written several books and many articles. She regularly appears as a commentator on television and has been featured in several movies, including Charles Ferguson’s “Watergate,” Robert Redford’s documentary “All the President's Men Revisited” and the Academy Award-winning documentaries, “Hôtel Terminus” about Gestapo Chief Klaus Barbie and “Women - for America, for the World,” about nuclear disarmament. She has also received many honors and four honorary degrees, including from Smith College, for her significant contributions to American politics.