Seattle-based coffeehouse giant Starbucks Coffee Co has announced that Paula E. Boggs has been named executive VP, general counsel and secretary.

In this position, Boggs will lead the 54-person Law and Corporate Affairs Department, and will manage relationships with all law firms used by Starbucks. Boggs will be responsible for overseeing all facets of the company's legal matters and report directly to president and CEO Orin Smith.

"We value the breadth and depth of experience that Paula brings to Starbucks," Smith said. "She has a solid track record, working in both the corporate and law firm environment as well as know-how from her years as an assistant US attorney. We are pleased to welcome her to Starbucks."

Boggs joins Starbucks from Dell, a Texas-based provider of computer systems and services for building information-technology and Internet infrastructures. She had served as VP, legal for products, operations and IT systems since 1997.

"I'm thrilled to be back in Seattle and to join the team at Starbucks," Boggs said. "I look forward to incorporating that legendary Starbucks service into my new position as I provide counsel and advice to senior management of the company."

Prior to joining Dell, Boggs was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle. From 1988-1994, she served an assistant US attorney in the western district of Washington State. Boggs is a former US Army officer and has worked as a staff attorney for the government.