Rutgers School of Law–Newark Alumni Association Annual Gala 2024

6:00 PM – 10:00 PM


Conway Ekpo '07
Director, Associate General Counsel
Distinguished Alumni Award

Diana C. Manning '93
Management Committee Member & Principal
Bressler Amery & Ross
Distinguished Alumni Award

Jacqueline C. Romero '96
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
The Fannie Bear Besser Award for Public Service



Conway Ekpo is a Director and Associate General Counsel of financial technology ("fintech") products at Brex, a leading Silicon Valley fintech company which provides corporate credit cards, business bank accounts, travel booking services and spend management software to tens of thousands of businesses including DoorDash, Coinbase, and Meta. He also served as Brex’s Chief Privacy Officer where he was responsible for establishing many of the company’s privacy functions.

Prior to joining the fintech industry, Conway began his legal career as a law firm associate in the New York office of Heller Ehrman. He later practiced as a financial services litigator at both Riker Danzig and Hogan Lovells, and subsequently transitioned in-house at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before joining Morgan Stanley as an Executive Director in the legal department. He is also a member of the DC-based Financial Technology Association and the Rutgers Law School Fintech and Blockchain Collaboratory which bring financial regulators and private industry together to propose policy at the intersection of law, finance and emerging technology.

Conway sits on several corporate and non-profit boards, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership within the legal community including honors from the New York City Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Conway earned his B.S. in engineering at the University of Kansas and his J.D. at Rutgers School of Law where he was named as Managing Editor of the Rutgers Law Review. He and his wife Martha reside in Manhattan with their two children, Ellison and Langston.


Diana C. Manning is a Principal of Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C., which has over two hundred employees and offices in six states. A current member of the firm’s Management Committee, she was the firm’s first female firm managing principal and leads the firm’s Appellate, Business and Commercial Litigation, and Legal Ethics and Compliance practice groups. 

For over 30 years, Diana has represented clients in complex commercial litigation matters at both the trial and appellate level. Diana has developed a successful record of trial verdicts and settlements, with a reputation as a strategic, thoughtful, and fearless advocate for all her clients. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and is an accomplished litigator who handles a broad range of matters. Diana is also a skilled appellate practitioner, with experience appearing before the New Jersey Supreme Court in six matters. Diana also provides attorneys and law firms of all sizes with professional liability, ethics, and compliance advice. 

Diana has been an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, presently serving as the NJSBA Treasurer and Chair of the Civil Trial Bar Section and is a Past Chair of both the NJSBA Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee and the Amicus Committee. Diana is also a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct and previously served on its District XA Ethics Committee for 10 years, having been appointed Chair from 2017-2019. She is the immediate past President of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and is also a past President of Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, Morris County Bar Association, and Morris County Bar Foundation. 

To date, Diana’s distinguished career has brought her honors from many professional and legal industry organizations. She is the recipient of the 2023 Corporate Leader Award from the Arthritis Foundation of New Jersey, the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey Trial Bar Award, the Civil Practice Award from both the Essex County and the Morris County Bar Associations, and is a three-time recipient of the “Professional Lawyer of the Year Award” conferred by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. She is also a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She is recognized in the ROI-NJ Influencers in Law Inaugural Power List, 2022 and the 2023 and 2024 ROI-NJ Influencers in Law List, the NJBIZ Best 50 Women in Business Honoree List, the NJBIZ 2021 and 2024 Leaders in Law Honoree List, and an Honorable Mention for the Enterprising Women in Commerce Legal Award by CIANJ. Diana is included in the Best Lawyers in America®, the NJBIZ Power 50 in Law List, and Super Lawyers’ “Top 100 Lawyers in New Jersey” and “Top 50 Women Lawyers in New Jersey.”

Diana graduated from Rutgers University School of Law after attending Rutgers College. She is married to a fellow New Jersey lawyer and Rutgers University School of Law alumni, Frank Viscomi, and they have two sons, Sam and Nick, and two wonderful daughters-in-law, Odette and Shefali.




United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Political Science, magna cum laude, from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1996, where she was co-founder of the Rutgers Race and the Law Review and Research Editor for the Computer & Technology Law Journal. She credits her mentors at Rutgers, Professor Alfred A. Slocum and Professor Arthur Kinoy, for instilling in her a love of public service and a passion for civil rights.

Ms. Romero is a proud graduate of the Rutgers’ Minority Student Program (MSP) and credits her 1L MSP summer internship at Lowenstein Sandler LLC with preparing her for future employment upon graduation.  She went on to work as a Litigation Associate at Lowenstein for two years after graduation, and that experience taught Ms. Romero the fundamentals of trial work and the importance of pro bono service. At Lowenstein, she assisted in a variety of civil and criminal matters filed in both state and federal court in many areas of law.  

Upon leaving Lowenstein in 1998, Ms. Romero worked as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice's Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch in Washington, D.C.  Her responsibilities included safeguarding the government's interests in contract disputes, defending the government's procurement and personnel decisions, prosecuting claims for the recovery of monies fraudulently secured or improperly diverted from the United States Treasury, and defending the country's international trade policies and decisions.

In 2000, Ms. Romero was hired as Senior Counsel to the United States Mint in Washington, D.C., where she represented the Mint in contract negotiations with individuals, companies, and foreign governments. She worked on various coin campaigns, serving as advisor to the Mint on a variety of issues. She also assisted United States Attorneys’ Offices with complex litigation and maintained a large administrative litigation docket.

In 2006, Ms. Romero joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (USAO-EDPA) as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Civil Division and served in that capacity for 16 years until her appointment as United States Attorney in 2022. As an AUSA, she specialized in fraud and civil rights investigations, serving as the Civil Rights Coordinator for the Office for seven years and as a member of the Newark/Philadelphia Regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force for four years. Her other collateral duties also included appointment to the district’s Supervision to Aid Reentry (STAR) program, a heightened supervised release program for felons reentering the Philadelphia community. 

From 2017 until 2022, Ms. Romero was an Adjunct Professor of Law in the Trial Advocacy Program at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, and a volunteer faculty member with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy from 2016 to 2022. She is a former fellow of both the German Marshall Fund and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. She served as President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania in 2018 and has served on its Board, as well as the Board of the LGBTQ Bar Association of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Judicial Commission. She is a lifetime member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and served on the HNBA’s Special Commission on Law Enforcement Reform and Racial Justice and the HNBA’s Latina Commission. 

During the course of her career, Ms. Romero has been recognized by various groups for her leadership and service. Most recently, she was honored by the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania with its 2024 La Justicia Award. She was the 2023 recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor Award.  She received Al Día’s 2022 Public Service Archetype Award and Al Día’s 2020 Champion of Justice Award for Government Service. In October 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recognized her via Resolution for her outstanding work in the STAR Re-entry Program. In that same year, she was also awarded the Clifford Scott Green Bill of Rights Award from the Federal Criminal Law Committee for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.