The LCLD Board of Directors is a hands-on group of committed Members whose responsibilities include the long-range vision of LCLD and leadership of the organization’s four strategic committees — Pipeline, Talent Development, Partnerships & Teams, and Strategy & Innovation.
Laura Stein serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of The Clorox Company, with responsibility for the company's worldwide legal ethics and compliance, corporate secretary, corporate communications, crisis management, risk management, and internal audit matters. Laura also serves on the Clorox executive committee, chairs the Clorox women's employee resource group, co-sponsors the company's social responsibility and enterprise programs, and works closely with Clorox's board of directors on governance matters.
In addition to her service on the Board of LCLD, Laura is a director of Franklin Resources, Inc., and was previously a director of Nash Finch Company. Stein is co-chair of the Corporate Pro Bono Advisory Board, and serves on the board of Equal Justice Works. She is a member of the American Law Institute, the Association of General Counsel and the ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee. She is special advisor to the ABA Asia Rule of Law Initiative and serves on the ABA CEELI Council. Stein participates in the Diversity and Flexibility Connection of the Project for Attorney Retention.
Previously, Laura was chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and the ABA Asia Rule of Law Initiative; vice-chair of the East Bay Community Law Center; co-chair of the General Counsel Committee of the ABA Business Law Section; and a director of Global Education Partnership, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She also served on the advisory boards of ABA DirectWomen, the ABA Center for Human Rights, and the LexMundi Foundation, and on the State Bar of California Task Force on Lawyer Support for Legal Services and the ABA Section of International Law Council.
Laura received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she earned her undergraduate and master's degrees.
Laura has received the Legal Momentum Women of Achievement Award, the Sandra Day O'Connor Board Excellence Award, the Ted Craig Humanitarian Award, and the Corporate Board Member America's Top General Counsel Recognition Award. The National Law Journal has named Stein as one of the 20 most influential general counsel in America. The Harvard Law Bulletin has highlighted Stein as one of 50 alumnae who "have used their law degree to take them to extraordinary places." She has been named one of the Bay Area's Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and was previously named one of Pennsylvania's Best Women in Business by the state's governor.
Laura speaks six languages and has lived in China and Italy. She and her husband Mark Conrad are the proud parents of Amanda and Christopher.
Immediate Past Chair
Brad Smith is Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has just over 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, and its government affairs and philanthropic work.
He serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.
Brad has also played a central role in ensuring that Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities. In recent years Microsoft has consistently ranked in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. During Brad's tenure, the company's citizenship programs have reached 280 million people in 110 countries through technology training programs that help individuals develop the skills needed to obtain jobs. Smith has also helped advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, both within Microsoft and in the broader legal profession.
Smith has written numerous articles on international intellectual property and electronic commerce issues, and has served as a lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law. Brad currently serves as chair of the Washington Roundtable, a leading Washington state-based business organization. He also chairs the Advocacy Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel, co-chairs the Board of Directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and serves on the board and executive committees of the Business Software Alliance and the Seattle Foundation.
Brad grew up in Appleton, Wis., where Green Bay seemed like the bigger city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy, and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.
Prior to joining Microsoft he was an associate then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#BradSmi.
Founding Chair Emeritus
Roderick A. (Rick) Palmore is a Senior Counsel at Dentons. With nearly 20 years of experience serving as a general counsel, including the role at General Mills from 2008 to 2015, and as a public company director, Rick advises public and private corporations and their leadership suites on risk management and governance issues across practices and industry sectors. He focuses on issues such as regulation, internal investigations, board responsibilities and performance, due diligence, litigation, brand protection, advertising, marketing, and labeling.
Rick also is a nationally recognized advocate for diversity in the legal industry. He is the author of A Call to Action: Diversity in the Legal Profession, a legal industry manifesto urging general counsel to drive diversity by demanding results in the law firms with which they work as well as in their departments. The initiative later grew into the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), a collaboration between general counsel and managing partners, which was formed in May 2009 and now includes more than 225 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners. Rick was the founding chair of the LCLD and continues to serve on its executive committee.
From 1996 to 2008, Rick was an executive and counsel at Sara Lee Corporation, where he was general counsel from 1999 to 2008; he ultimately held the titles of executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary for the consumer food giant from 2004 to 2008. Rick was executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance and risk management officer of General Mills Inc. from 2008 to 2015.
Rick received the Corporate Exemplar Award from the National Legal Aid & Defender Association in 2007, the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in 2006, the Scales of Justice Award from the Equal Justice Works Foundation in 2005, and the Excellence in Corporate Practice Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel in 2003. He also has been recognized by The National Law Journal, Inside Counsel magazine, and Corporate Board Member magazine as one of the most influential general counsel in America.
Rick attended Yale University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Chicago Law School.
Anastasia D. (Stasia) Kelly is the Co-Managing Partner (Americas) at DLA Piper. She is former Vice Chairman of American International Group (AIG), a role she held until the end of 2009. In this role, she was responsible for the global legal, compliance and regulatory functions, government relations, communications, corporate affairs and human resources.
Stasia joined AIG in September, 2006 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Regulatory and Compliance Officer. She assumed her additional responsibilities in January, 2009. Prior to AIG, Stasia was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of MCI/WorldCom, where she served as the Chief Legal Officer in the restructuring of the company from 2003 until its acquisition by Verizon in 2006.
Prior to MCI, Stasia was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Sears, Roebuck and Co. While at Sears, she restructured the legal and compliance teams in the wake of the company’s compliance issues in one of its divisions. Before her tenure at Sears, Stasia served as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Fannie Mae. At Fannie Mae she centralized the company’s legal and compliance function and upgraded the talent across Fannie Mae’s five offices nationwide.
Prior to joining Fannie Mae, Stasia was a partner and associate with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale) where her practice spanned several areas of law, including regulation of financial institutions and securities firms, corporate and securities and intellectual property. She was also associated with Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, of Dallas, where her practice encompassed general and business litigation.
Stasia received her law degree magna cum laude from George Washington University, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the George Washington Law Review, and her undergraduate degree cum laude from Trinity University in Washington, DC. She serves as a director of O-I, the world’s largest manufacturer of glass packaging, and Huntington Ingalls Industries, builder of more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder.
She is on the Advisory Board of the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University. She is a Director and past Co-Chair of the Washington Lawyers' Committee (WLC), past Chair of Equal Justice Works, and a Director of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR).
Michael W. Blair
Michael W. Blair is Presiding Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Michael has served as lead counsel in a host of major M&A transactions, advised senior executives and boards of directors on governance matters, and handled securities transactions for clients across a range of industries.
As Presiding Partner, Michael has furthered the firm's long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2013, Debevoise placed No. 1 overall in The American Lawyer's "10-Year-A-List," a ranking of the law firms who have earned the highest cumulative score on the A-list since its inception in 2003. In addition to the firm's overall top score, Debevoise placed fourth in diversity among all firms that qualified for the A-list during the 10-year period. The firm is ranked in the top 10 by Vault in overall diversity and in diversity for women, minorities, LGBT lawyers, and lawyers with disabilities. Debevoise is also the only New York-based firm to have made the Working Mother Media/Flex-Time Lawyers "50 Best Law Firms for Women" list every year since its inception.
Michael joined Debevoise in 1981 and became a partner in 1989. He received his B.A. from Yale University in 1977 and his J.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981. Michael is a Director of The Partnership for New York City, a Trustee of the Smith Richardson Foundation, and a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a former Director of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and The Legal Aid Society.
Alan Braverman is Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the Walt Disney Company. As chief legal officer, he oversees the attorneys and practices of an international legal department. Alan also oversees the company's pro bono practice, which works through various nonprofits to bring legal services to children and families. In 2014, Alan accepted an award from the Southern California chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel for Disney Legal's pro bono activities.
Before coming to Disney, Alan worked in the legal department of ABC, Inc., rising quickly through the ranks as he handled cases on news gathering, labor and employment, government relations, and many other issues. Before coming to ABC, Alan specialized in commercial litigation at the Washington, D.C., firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.
Alan graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in 1969 and received his J.D. summa cum laude from Duquesne University in 1975. While at Duquesne, Alan was editor-in-chief of the Law Review.
Ellen Dwyer is General Counsel of Crowell & Moring LLP. In 2012, she was named one of America’s most innovative managing partners, in part for increasing the numbers of women and minorities in leadership positions at her firm. Her initiatives included a sponsorship program that pairs young lawyers with partners for mentoring and professional development.
Ellen serves on Crowell & Moring's Management Board. She is also a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group and represents employers on a variety of employment matters. Part of her work includes providing training to her clients on employment issues like diversity and sexual harassment.
Ellen is a fellow of the American Bar Association and director of the nonprofit Focus on the Children. She graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School with a J.D. in 1985 and received her B.A. from St. Lawrence University in 1982.
Eric J. Friedman has served as Skadden's Executive Partner since 2009. Under his leadership, Skadden has been the only firm to be named one of the nation's two most innovative law firms in the Financial Times' "U.S. Innovative Lawyers" Report for each of the five years the report has been published.
Eric has been involved in a number of significant transactions in the financial services industry. For example, he has represented Citigroup Inc. in many of its most important M&A deals over the past decade. He is also experienced in matters involving financial exchanges. He represented The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. in its initial public offering and its acquisition of the Nordic exchange operator OMX and the related sale of a 19.9 percent interest in NASDAQ to Borse Dubai; and the New York Mercantile Exchange in its sale of a 10 percent stake to General Atlantic Partners, and its initial public offering.
As Executive Partner, Eric has reinforced Skadden’s long-standing commitment to attracting, retaining and developing a diverse group of talented lawyers and staff. In recognition of Skadden’s diversity, inclusion and public service efforts, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund presented Skadden with its first-ever Law Firm of the Year Award in 2011. In 2012, Eric received a Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award from the New York City Bar Association in recognition of his commitment to initiating and sustaining change at Skadden.
In 2011, The National Law Journal acknowledged Eric's accomplishments since becoming Skadden’s Executive Partner by naming him as one of its three “Most Influential” law firm leaders. He has been listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America and the Directorship 100. Under his leadership, Skadden ranked as a top firm in the Financial Times’ “U.S. Innovative Lawyers” Report (2010 and 2011).
Andrew has been Hanson Bridgett’s Managing Partner for more than 10 years. Under Andrew's leadership, Hanson Bridgett has grown to be in the top 10 firms in San Francisco and expanded its operations to Sacramento, Silicon Valley, and the East Bay.
As a practicing attorney, Andrew is an experienced trial lawyer who has served as lead counsel on numerous eight figure construction and real estate claims for major public and private owners, "ENR Top 50" designers, developers and contractors, along with regional architectural, engineering, development and construction firms, including: the University of California, The City and County of San Francisco, the Modesto Irrigation District, URS Corporation and its subsidiaries, Prologis and its subsidiaries, Catellus Development Corporation and its subsidiaries, Intracorp, Swinerton, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Environmental Chemical Corporation.
Andrew devotes a substantial amount of time and energy to leadership in the community. He is currently the president of Legal Aid of Marin and a member of the Executive Committee for the Bay Area Council, as well as the Chair of its Government Relations Committee. He has also served as a board member of the Bar Association of San Francisco and the San Francisco Education Fund.
Andrew has been named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list (2006–2012) and to the Legal Aid of Marin’s Marin Justice League Hall of Fame (2011). He earned his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1991) and his B.A. from San Francisco State University (1988). Andrew is admitted to practice in California.
Mike Harrington is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Eli Lilly and Company.
Since joining Lilly in 1991 as an attorney in product liability litigation, Mike has served in a number of other business and legal positions, including managing director of the New Zealand affiliate and as associate general counsel for Lilly’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Mike most recently held the role of vice president and deputy general counsel of global pharmaceutical operations. In this capacity, he was responsible for legal issues related to Lilly’s five global business units.
Before joining Lilly, Mike was a litigator at the law firm of Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis.
Mike earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Albion College and a law degree from the Columbia University School of Law.
Mike currently serves as the board chair for the Indiana Repertory Theatre and the co-chair of the Civil Justice Reform Group (CJRG). He is also a member of the board of trustees and executive committee of Albion College.
Denise Keane serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Altria Group. In her role, she leads the company’s Law Department and the Corporate Secretary’s office.
From May 1995 to December 1997, Denise served as Senior Vice President & General Counsel for Philip Morris USA and later Senior Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs, and Associate General Counsel for Philip Morris Companies.
Denise served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for PM USA from 2001 until assuming her most recent position with Altria in 2008. She has engaged in the successful management of company litigation issues and has managed legal regulatory issues globally. During her career with the Altria family of companies, Denise has held various management and leadership positions.
She is a member of the American Bar Association and is currently serving on the Commission on Women in the Profession. She is also the ABA co-chair of the Task Force on Gender Equity.
Deborah Platt Majoras is the Chief Legal Officer and Secretary for The Procter & Gamble Company, which she joined in 2008. In that position, she oversees a legal department that includes more than 500 lawyers and other legal professionals around the globe and is responsible for the broad scope of legal functions for all of P&G and its 127,000 employees.
From 2004-2008, Deborah served as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, where she focused on ensuring data security and protecting consumers from emerging frauds, such as identity theft and spyware, and served as co-chair of the President's Identity Theft Task Force. She also worked to implement sound antitrust policy regarding intellectual property, increase the efficiency and transparency of the merger review process, and strengthen cooperation among antitrust agencies around the world. Prior to the FTC, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, where she served from 2001-2003. After clerking in federal court in D.C., in 1991, she joined international law firm, Jones Day, where she ultimately became a partner in the firm's antitrust practice.
Deborah is the recipient of the International Association of Privacy Professionals' 2007 Privacy Leadership Award and RSA's 2007 Award for Excellence in the Field of Public Policy. In 2006, SC Magazine named her one of the Top Five Influential IT Security Thinkers, and Washingtonian Magazine listed her among the "100 Most Powerful Women in Washington." In May 2011, Legal Momentum honored her with the Aiming High Award.
Today, she serves as Co-Chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce International Competition Policy Working Group and as an advisor to the International Competition Network. She also serves on the Boards of the Cincinnati Legal Aid Society, the Georgetown Law Corporate Counsel Institute, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Westminster College, from which she has a B.A. (summa cum laude). She is a member of the Association of General Counsel and the CLO-NA Roundtable. She earned her J.D. (Order of the Coif) from the University of Virginia in 1989.
Karen Roberts is Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart). In this role, she oversees the legal department, which is responsible for handling all legal matters affecting the company in its domestic and international markets.
As the leader of Walmart Legal, Karen ensures the company’s compliance with the laws and regulations in the regions it operates, forecasts possible issues and works ahead of them to ensure the company’s readiness and heads department initiatives such as its Medical-Legal Partnership Program and its diversity and inclusion efforts.
Karen was previously executive vice president and president of Walmart Realty, where she was responsible for Walmart’s real estate operations and a portfolio of close to 1 billion square feet. In this role she ensured the company fulfilled its commitment to be a good neighbor by working with communities to generate jobs, spur economic growth and continue its mission to save people money so they can live better.
Prior to her move to Realty, she served as senior vice president and chief compliance officer for Walmart. She managed operations and pharmacy compliance, environmental compliance, immigration and financial services compliance, product safety compliance, food safety and quality assurance and the privacy office. Since joining Walmart in 1995 as a real estate manager, Karen has held various positions within the company, including vice president and general counsel for real estate and construction.
Karen obtained her bachelor of science in public administration from Harding University and her juris doctor from the University of Arkansas. She is currently a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate. Karen also serves as a board member for Institute for Legal Reform.
Gary L. Sasso is the President and CEO of Carlton Fields, resident in the firm's Tampa office. The firm was formed from a merger of Carlton Fields, P.A. and Jorden Burt, LLP in January 2014.
Under Gary's leadership, Carlton Fields has been recognized as the best firm in the country for overall diversity and the best firm in the country for diversity for minorities and women by Vaults Guide to Law Firms for the past five years in a row, from 2009 to 2013. In 2008, Gary was among the first law firm leaders given the CEO Diversity Leadership Award by Diversity Best Practices.
The firm also received the inaugural diversity award conferred upon any law firm by the George Edgecomb Bar Association in 2009 and the only award conferred upon any law firm for diversity to date by Equality Florida in 2011. In 2012, the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers conferred upon Carlton Fields the Family Friendly Award recognizing only one law firm for creating an environment for all of its employees that balances professional and family responsibilities.
Gary has been recognized by Law Dragon as among the nation's Top 100 Securities Lawyers and by numerous other legal directories as a leading litigator. He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and a past Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Litigation Section's Litigation magazine.
Gary holds leadership positions in many civic organizations, including currently chairing the regional Board of the Suncoast United Way and having recently chaired the Tampa Bay Partnership, a regional economic development group. He was inducted into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gary is a graduate of the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and graduated first in his law school class. After law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the DC Circuit and then for Justice Byron R. White of the United States Supreme Court.
Ben is Managing Principal of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., a 100-lawyer firm focused on environmental, sustainability, and natural resource law and litigation. He serves as lead counsel in several complex litigation matters for major corporations and developers, and represents cities and local government agencies on Clean Water Act enforcement, wetlands development, Superfund, and Environmental Justice matters.
An ardent advocate for diversity and inclusion, Wilson received a 2014 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, and a 2013 Dedication to Diversity and Justice Award from the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. In 2012 and 2013, Wilson was named as a Top 100 Black Attorney by On Being A Black Lawyer. In 2012, Wilson established the African American General Counsel and Managing Partners Network. In 2008, Wilson founded the Diverse Partners Network.
Wilson graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College (A.B., History, 1973) and from Harvard Law School (J.D., 1976). He serves on the Board of Directors of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. He is also an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Law at the Howard University School of Law.
Robert J. Grey, Jr.
Robert is the the President of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. He is also a Partner with Hunton & Williams LLP and serves as Vice Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee. His practice is focused on representing businesses in administrative, regulatory, and legislative matters. He has also served as a neutral in commercial mediations.
In 2010, Robert was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to the Board of the Legal Services Corporation.
Robert was elected as an officer in the American Bar Association (ABA), serving as chair of the ABA House of Delegates in 1998 and later as president of the association in 2004. During his term as president of the ABA, he worked for better justice through better juries via the America Jury Initiative.
He received his B.S. in 1973 from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree in 1976 from Washington and Lee University, where he served on its Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2014.
Leadership. Action. Results.