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Diversity & Inclusion in Law Practice 2015


Speaker(s): Alan Jenkins, Anna L. Brown, Benjamin F. Wilson, Bruce Jackson, Gabrielle Lyse Brown, Howard Ross, Jacqueline A. Berrien, Janai S. Nelson, Joseph West, Lorraine S. McGowen, Nate Saint-Victor, Patricia K. Gillette, Raymond Abbott, Ricardo A. Anzaldua, Richard Meade, Werten Bellamy
Recorded on: Feb. 19, 2015
PLI Program #: 60014

Anna L. Brown is the North America Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Baker & McKenzie LLP, a premiere global law firm with 77 offices in 47 countries.  Ms. Brown is responsible for designing and implementing all aspects of the organization’s internal and external global diversity and inclusion strategic initiatives in North America.

Ms. Brown serves on the New York City Bar Association Committee to Enhance Diversity in the Profession and previously served on the Subcommittee on Bioethics.  She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the American Bar Association and past President of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals.

Ms. Brown is the co-author of “Diversity in Action: A Manual for Diversity Professionals in Law,” a new publication designed as a resource and educational tool for those performing diversity roles in law firms and corporate legal departments.  She is also the recipient of the 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Champion Award from the New York City Bar Association.

Ms. Brown serves on the board of the Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership and the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc.   She is a graduate cum laude of Howard University School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York.


Bruce Jackson is an Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft where he currently supports the East region and Financial Services sector on all licensing and services, including Cloud, agreements.  In this role, he leads the engagement of a $4 billion business.  Bruce is a passionate proponent for Diversity and Inclusion.  Mr. Jackson has spoken about the general necessity, corporate responsibility and economic advantages of Diversity and Inclusion. 

Jackson began his career at Microsoft in 2000 as corporate counsel for the Digital Media Division. Determined to play a pioneering role in digital media, Jackson accepted Microsoft’s offer to work for the top technology company while supporting and learning from a regulatory and technical development standpoint. He was one of the first attorneys coming out of the music industry where music was being distributed in a physical format to work with a company that supported a different form of distribution that no one envisioned.

He brought a broad and unique skill set to the division as an established Entertainment attorney. Equipped with a  B.B.A. in Public Accounting from Hofstra University, a JD and LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center; Bruce Jackson founded the law firm of Jackson, Brown, Powell and St. George.  The firm concentrated its areas of practice in highly specialized Entertainment law.

Prior to the firm’s launching, Bruce enjoyed a two year tenure at Baruch College as a professor teaching tax courses while simultaneously working as an Entertainment attorney for Minter and Gay law firm. 

Bruce has been a member of Microsoft’s Law and Corporate Affairs (LCA) diversity committee since 2001. He is a member of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Individual Mentoring Program for the New York City area.  He has been recognized for helping to shape Microsoft’s legal department’s diversity efforts, including organizing and executing the first LCA Women and Minority Law student IP Summit in New York.

In 2010, He was involved with getting Elevate America launched in New York making 71,000 vouchers available to people statewide with the technology training needed to succeed in the 21st-century economy.  He participates in the Annual Blacks at Microsoft Minority Student Day which exposes students to high school internships, college scholarship opportunities and further develops the recruitment pipeline with diverse talent.

Bruce’s personal commitment to diversity, inclusion, community and youth is demonstrated through his numerous civic activities.  He is a current board member of the National Association for Women and Minority Owned Law Firms and the African American Chamber of Commerce for Westchester and Rockland County.  He’s also a board member of the Henry Street Settlement where he serves on the Youth/Workforce Committee.  In 2010, Bruce was appointed by Governor Patterson to New York State’s Advisory Council on Interactive Media and Youth Violence.

Bruce Jackson is a 2011 recipient of both Microsoft’s Diversity Award and for his ongoing commitment, accomplishments and sustained high level of contributions across a broad range of organizations and activities.


Jacqueline A. Berrien was the 14th Chair of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) , a bipartisan body created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce and educate the public about federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. President Barack Obama nominated Berrien on July 16, 2009 to a term ending July 1, 2014. In announcing her nomination, the President said that Berrien “has spent her entire career fighting to give voice to underrepresented communities and protect our most basic rights.”  Chair Berrien’s nomination was confirmed by unanimous consent of the Senate in December 2010.

As EEOC Chair, Ms. Berrien was responsible for administrative oversight of a federal government agency with 53 offices in the United States and Puerto Rico, approximately 2,200 employees, and an annual budget of more than $360 million. The agency’s major achievements during her term included adopting the first ever regulations implementing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act; updating enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination for the first  time in more than 30 years; developing and implementing a new strategic plan and the agency’s first Strategic Enforcement Plan; reducing inventory of unresolved discrimination charges by approximately 20 percent; recovering a record amount of monetary relief for victims of discrimination through administrative enforcement programs; updating enforcement guidance on employers’ use of arrest and conviction records; updating technology and information systems nationwide to increase efficiency and improve service to the public; and conducting public Commission meetings on discrimination in hiring and recruitment, human trafficking, discrimination against older workers, and facilitating employment of veterans with disabilities, among other subjects.  During her tenure as EEOC Chair, Ms. Berrien was named one of America’s

Leading Black Women in Public Service by The Root.com, one of HR's Most Influential by Human Resource Executive Online, and included in the “Power 100” List of the Nation's Most Influential Minority Attorneys .

Before her service in the Obama Administration, Ms. Berrien practiced civil rights law for more than 20 years. She served as Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) from 2004-2010, reporting directly to the organization’s President and Director-Counsel and sharing responsibility for the overall management and direction of LDF’s national litigation, advocacy and scholarship programs. From 2001 to 2004, she was a Program Officer in the Governance and Civil Society Unit of the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Justice Program, where she administered more than $13 million in grants to promote greater political participation by underrepresented groups and remove barriers to civic engagement. From 1994 to 2001, Berrien was an Assistant Counsel with LDF and directed LDF’s voting rights and political participation docket and represented voters in proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate and trial courts. Between 1987 and 1994, Berrien worked as  an attorney with the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., and with the National Legal Department and Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York. She began her legal career in 1986, working as a law clerk to the Honorable U.W. Clemon in Birmingham, Alabama.  She has published several articles on race and gender discrimination issues, was appointed to the adjunct faculty of New York Law School and taught trial advocacy at Harvard and  Fordham law schools.

Berrien is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as a General Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in Government from Oberlin College and also completed a major in English. She received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Northeastern University in 2012.


Janai Nelson is the seventh Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the country’s first civil and human rights law organization. As an organizational thought-leader at LDF, Ms. Nelson works with the President and Director-Counsel to determine and execute LDF’s strategic vision and oversee the operation of its programs.  She is also one of the lead counsel in Veasey v. Abbott, a federal challenge to Texas’s voter ID law.   Prior to joining LDF in June 2014, Ms. Nelson was Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and Associate Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development at St. John’s University School of Law where she is also a full professor of law.

Ms. Nelson received the 2013 Derrick A. Bell Award from the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Section on Minority Groups and was named one of Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 minority professors making an impact in legal education.  Prior to joining St. John's faculty, Ms. Nelson was a Fulbright Scholar at the Legal Resources Center in Accra, Ghana.  She began practicing law as the 1998 recipient of the NAACP LDF/Fried Frank Fellowship, following federal district and appellate court clerkships.  Ms. Nelson later became Director of LDF’s Political Participation Group, overseeing all voting related litigation and matters, litigating voting rights and redistricting cases, and working on criminal justice issues. Ms. Nelson has appeared in various media as an expert on race, civil rights, constitutional law and election law, and regularly speaks at conferences and symposia nationwide.


Nate Saint-Victor is an Executive Director in the Legal and Compliance Division of Morgan Stanley.  Nate provides advice to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on issues pertaining to the laws, rules and regulations applicable to investment advisers and brokers-dealers, with a focus on alternative investments, research and investment advisory programs.  Previously, Nate was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell where he practiced in the Investment Management Group.  Since 2009, Nate has served on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Alternative Investments Roundtable and previously served on the SIFMA Investment Advisor/ Broker-Dealer Task Force, SIFMA Investment Advisory Committee and the Certified Financial Planner Board Business Model Working Group.  Nate regularly participates on a broad range of panels and has been published covering issues such as securities laws, diversity and inclusion and professional development.

Nate is also the former Chair of the Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance Division’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee (LCDDIC) which, with over 200 active members, is one of the most formidable efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion within the legal and compliance professions.  Through his leadership, recruitment efforts and cultivation of talent, participation quadrupled during his tenure and the firm and certain employees have been recognized industry-wide for their innovative efforts.  He has been an active member of the LCDDIC since 2006.

Nate is on the Board of Directors for the Alliance of Securities and Financial Educators (ASAFE), a non-profit alliance of financial services industry experts who are regulators and practitioners that create and provide educational programs to increase and diversify access to the financial services industry and its leadership careers.  Nate is also on the Advisory Council for the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), a nonprofit trade association comprised of minority and women-owned law firms.  Nate is Co-Chair of the New York City Bar Association Enhancing Diversity in the Profession Committee and previously sat on the Committee on Diversity Pipeline Initiatives, the Committee on Minorities in the Profession, and the Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Selection Committee, the last for which he served as Chair. Nate is a 2009 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow and is currently Co-Chair for the CUP Fellows Alumni Board.  Nate also served on the Pipeline Crisis/Winning Strategies Early Care and Education Working Group, sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Sullivan and Cromwell.  Nate is on the Executive Committee of The Group, a collective of senior in-house African-American male attorneys and an adviser to 1844, a collective of black male law firm associates.

Nate enjoys mentoring high school students through Legal Outreach, which prepares urban youth from underserved communities in New York City to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and facilitating the pursuit of higher education. He is a recurring judge for Legal Outreach moot court competitions, an annual guest speaker for their 8th grade summer program for black and latino boys (Pathways to Achievement and Community Transformation, or PACT), currently sits on Legal Outreach’s Advisory Board, and was recognized as an “Elder of the Village”, the organization’s highest honor.

Nate has also been recognized as a 2015 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Catalyst Change Agent in Law and a 2015 National Bar Association “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” honoree.

Nate received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, where he co-founded the Duke Business Club and the Duke Investment Club, and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was on the Journal of Gender and the Law, the Barristers’ Council, the nationally ranked Frederick Douglass moot court team and served as President of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).


Patricia Gillette, a partner in Orrick's San Francisco office, is a member of the employment law group. Orrick’s Employment Law and Litigation group was recently named Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California by The Recorder, the premier source for legal news, in recognition of their significant wins on behalf of leading multinational companies on today’s most complex and challenging employment law matters.

Ms. Gillette's practice focuses on all aspects of employment law, including litigation of wrongful discharge and discrimination class actions and individual/multi-plaintiff cases in both state and federal court, representation of employers before administrative agencies, and counseling and training employers on preventive personnel practices. She is an experienced trial lawyer and regularly handles complex employment litigation. She is a frequent lecturer to management employment groups across the country.

Before joining Orrick, Ms. Gillette was head of Heller Ehrman LLP's Labor and Employment Practice Group for 10 years. Prior to joining Heller Ehrman, Ms. Gillette was in private practice and served six years as in-house counsel for Bank of America, where she was in charge of the Personnel Advice Section of the Legal Department.

Throughout her career, Ms. Gillette has been actively involved in national projects focusing on the retention of women in the legal industry and, as a result, is a frequent writer and keynote speaker on these

issues. Her articles have been widely published in state and national publications. Ms. Gillette's focus recently has been on rainmaking.  She served as chair of an Advisory Committee of law firms that helped create the newly published Rainmaking Study on the personal characteristics that make rainmakers successful.

Ms. Gillette serves as an elected official in her home town of Kensington, California and is on several non-profit boards.

Practices 

  • Employment Law & Litigation

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1976 
  • A.B., Occidental College, 1973

Honors

  • Recipient of ABA Golden Hammer Award for promoting diversity in the profession, given by the ABA Law Practice Division and the ABA Women Rainmakers Division
  • Recipient of the Fay Stender Award, the highest award given by the California Women Lawyers Association


Ricardo A. Anzaldua is executive vice president and general counsel of MetLife, Inc.  He was appointed to this position in December 2012.  Anzaldua leads the company’s global legal operations, and oversees MetLife's corporate secretary's office and corporate ethics and compliance group.

Anzaldua joined MetLife from The Hartford Financial Services Group, where he was senior vice president and associate general counsel.  There, he led legal support for the two largest operating divisions (commercial and consumer markets) after a three-year tenure leading the legal teams supporting the corporate secretarial, securities, corporate governance, tax, mergers & acquisitions, technology, bankruptcy and real estate functions.

Prior to joining The Hartford, Anzaldua was a partner with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York.  He began his legal career with the firm upon graduation from Harvard Law School in 1990.

Before law school, Anzaldua was the publications director and senior editor of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, a University of California think tank focusing on research relating to Mexico and U.S.-Mexican relations, as well as Latin America more generally.

Since 2015, Anzaldua has been a member of the board of directors for the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) and LatinoJustice. He also became a member of the board of directors for Breaking Ground, a New York City supportive housing developer and manager, in 2014. Since 2007, Anzaldua has also been a member of the board of directors of the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation and currently serves as its president.  He is also a trustee and pro-bono general counsel of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, an international nonprofit focused on economic and community development and empowerment in the developing world. 


Alan Jenkins is Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda, a communications, research, and policy organization dedicated to building the national will to expand opportunity. Before joining The Opportunity Agenda, Alan was Director of Human Rights at the Ford Foundation, managing grant making in the United States and eleven overseas regions. Previously, he served as Assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to that, he was Associate Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where he defended the rights of low-income communities suffering from exploitation and discrimination.

Alan is a member of the Legal Services Corporation’s Special Task Force on Fiscal Oversight, serves on the Board of Governors of the New School University, and is a Co-Chair of the American Constitution Society's Project on the Constitution in the Twenty-First Century. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Media Studies from New School University, and a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard College.


Ray Abbott is Managing Director and Associate General Counsel for Global Research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  His responsibilities include managing legal support for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global research business.  He also co-chairs the Legal Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Business Council.

Mr. Abbott joined Merrill Lynch in as Investment Banking Counsel in New York and has since served as Global Markets & Investment Banking Counsel in London, Global Head of Research Compliance, Co-General Counsel for Merrill Lynch's GMI Group, and, immediately prior to his present role, as General Counsel and Global Head of Research Compliance.

Before joining Merrill Lynch, Mr. Abbott was an Associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York, where he specialized in securities underwriting and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Abbott has a J.D. from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.


Richard E. Meade (Rick) is vice president and chief legal officer for Prudential’s International Division, responsible for leading a team of lawyers located in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America.  In addition, he is a member of the senior management team in the Law, Compliance, Business Ethics & External Affairs Department (LCBE).

Prudential’s International Division businesses manufacture and distribute individual life insurance, retirement and related products to clients in selected international markets..

Rick is also responsible for oversight of Prudential’s Operations and Systems legal team, whose lawyers advise on issues related to corporate real estate, intellectual property and technology and general vendor contracts. 

Rick has been the Chair of LCBE’s award winning Diversity Steering Committee since 2006, as well as the Executive Sponsor of the Department’s Internal and Outside Counsel Diversity Committees.  He also played a key role in launching the multi-company Inclusion Initiative which focuses on increasing corporate expenditures on minority and women owned law firms. 

Rick joined Prudential’s Corporate Law Department in 1985 as legal advisor to the actuarial staff of the Individual Insurance Department and the Corporate Actuary.  In 1987, he became head of the Individual Insurance Section, supervising the legal support for all U.S.-based individual traditional life insurance product and marketing issues, as well as service marks, international insurance and banking issues.  Rick later served for 10 years as chief legal officer for all of Prudential’s domestic individual insurance businesses. He assumed his current responsibilities in 2001.

Prior to joining Prudential, Rick was an associate with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett  in New York City.

Rick has an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is admitted to practice law in California, New York and New Jersey.


Since 2011, Joseph K. West has served as the President and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Upon taking the helm at MCCA, Mr. West immediately implemented a number of programs focused on increasing the MCCA’s ability to expand opportunities for women and minority lawyers. He created the MCCA Academy for Leadership and Inclusion, a training program designed to identify barriers to inclusion in the profession and to eradicate them. He created the MCCA Blueprint program and the MCCA Exchange, programs designed to help in-house counsel with career development and law firm members to hone their business development skills. He led an overhaul of MCCA’s scholarship and mentoring programs and CLE offerings. He launched research projects ranging from global diversity, to a study of Generation Y lawyers, to corporate legal department demographic surveys and toolkits. He has forged partnerships with the Just The Beginning Foundation, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association and other organizations. He recently announced that MCCA is the point organization for the Engage Excellence program which tracks the amount of spend that major corporations direct to women and minority lawyers. As a result of his efforts, MCCA’s membership has almost tripled since his tenure began.

Mr. West came to MCCA after an exceptional stint as associate general counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc., where he established himself as an innovator in the legal services arena and a leading advocate for diversity and inclusion. At Walmart, he served as head of the outside counsel management group. In that role, he was responsible for managing all aspects of Walmart’s relationships with its external law firms globally. This included oversight of over 600 firms and 25,000 lawyers and paralegals with an annual outside counsel spend of more than $300 million.

Mr. West was recently awarded the 2014 Beacon of Diversity Award from the Black Entertainment Sports Lawyers Association. The Delaware Barristers Association recognized him with the 2014 Louis L. Redding Lifetime Achievement Award. The Washington Business Journal honored him with the 2014 Minority Business Leader Award. He made Walmart one of the initial signatories to the Inclusion Initiative with the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) and in 2009, that organization awarded him its prestigious Outstanding Advisory Council Member Award. In 2010, the National Bar Association recognized his contributions to the profession by naming him In-house Counsel of the Year. In 2005, ABC’s “Good Morning America” featured Mr. West in a segment for his heroic actions in helping save lives when he voluntarily rode out Hurricane Katrina at Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, La., in order to help care for stranded patients. He is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education and served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.


Gabrielle Lyse Brown is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the New York City Bar, where she leads the Association’s efforts to enhance diversity in the legal profession across a broad range of internal and external constituents, including law firms, corporate legal departments, nonprofit organizations and educators to foster diverse and inclusive work environments. Previously, she founded the City Bar’s Pipeline Initiative, which provides comprehensive programming for inner-city students to address academic support and enrichment, professional and substantive skill development, networking/mentoring opportunities and exposure to the legal profession.

Gabrielle is committed to diversity in the profession and is active in several like-minded organizations. She is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, Inc. (PALS), the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) Advisory Board, The Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), the Oberlin College Alumni Council, and is a 2014 Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) Fellow and member of the Alumni Board. She speaks regularly on developing diversity and inclusion initiatives, professional readiness, mentoring, and networking.


Lorraine McGowen is a partner in the New York office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where she focuses on restructurings.  She is a co-chair of Orrick’s firm-wide Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives and recently completed two terms of service on the firm’s 11-member Board of Directors.  She previously chaired Orrick’s Restructuring Group.   Her clients include leading financial institutions, syndicated lender groups, creditor committees and other parties seeking to maximize recoveries in complex bankruptcies, out-of-court restructurings and creditors’ rights controversies in the U.S. and internationally.  Among her awards and honors, she was recognized as a Diversity Champion by the New York City Bar Association in 2012, as one of the Most Influential Black Lawyers by Savoy Magazine in 2015, and the National Black Lawyers Top 100 in 2016.  She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and ranked as a Leading Lawyer by the IFLR1000.  Ms. McGowen is on the Board of Legal Advisers for Legal Outreach, a non-profit college-bound program for students in disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York City and on the Advisory Committee for the Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar Association.   She is also on the Board of Directors for the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.  Ms. McGowen graduated from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1983 and Columbia School of Law in 1986.


Werten Bellamy is the President of Stakeholders, Inc., a company founded in 2007 that provides training and conference resources directed to the active career management needs of corporations and service firms.

His work is focused on the role in-house counsel, law firm associates and partners must play in driving their career outcomes and is directed to identifying the practical career strategies of top performers. Stakeholders has delivered training and consulting to over seventy-five (75) global law firms and law departments. 

In 2010, Werten was selected by the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity (LCLD) to design and help implement its talent development efforts directed to top performing law firm and law department attorneys. 

Werten is also the author of The Path to Indispensable: The Junior Associate, published by ABA Publishing and due in 2012.

Werten launched Stakeholders following sixteen (16) years of practice in both law firms and law departments.  Werten began his career as an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Kutak Rock. The next twelve (12) years of his career he spent in in-house positions of increasing responsibility, at companies to include Merck & Co., Inc., Genetics Institute, Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Werten completed his in-house career with Celera Genomics (NYSE: CRA), the biotechnology company located in Rockville, Maryland and credited with sequencing the human genome.  At Celera, Werten was the General Counsel. Werten is also a retired captain in the United States Army.

Werten has served on the Board of Directors of St. Benedict's Preparatory School, Phillips Exeter Academy General Alumni Association and in 2000 was appointed by the former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, to provide advice and guidance to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Werten has been honored for his civic and professional achievements, to include: The Chairman's Award, National Bar Association, The Excellence In the Practice Award, American Corporate Counsel Association and the Trailblazer Award, CYOC Foundation. 

 Werten is a graduate of Princeton University and the University Of Virginia School Of Law. He resides in Philadelphia. 


As founder & Chief Learning O?cer of Cook Ross Inc., Howard Ross has served more than 25 years as an influential business consultant to hundreds of organizations across the United States and in dozens of other countries, specializing in leadership, diversity, and organizational transformation. He is a recognized thought leader on exploring and addressing Unconscious Bias. Howard is also the architect of award-winning workshops and awareness programs, and also of CultureVision (http://www.crculturevision.com) and The Diversity Toolkit (http:// www.thediversitytoolkit.com). Howard was the 2007-2008 Johnnetta B. Cole Professor of Di- versity-in-Residence at Bennett College for Women, the first time a white man has ever served in such a position at an HBCU. Howard is a recipient of the 2012 Leadership Stars Who Mean Business Peer Award from Diversity Woman, a recent guest lecturer at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, and can be heard monthly on NPR as a regular guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show. He is the recent author of ReInventing Diversity: Transforming Organizational Community to Strengthen People, Purpose & Performance, published by Rowman Littlefield in association with the Society for Human Resource Management. His second book, Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives, was published by Rowman Littlefield in August 2014.


Benjamin F. Wilson 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, Mr. 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, Mr. Wilson was named as a Top 100 Black Attorney by On Being A Black Lawyer.  In 2012, Mr. Wilson established the African American General Counsel and Managing Partners Network.  In 2008, Mr. Wilson founded the Diverse Partners Network.

Mr. 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, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College.  He is also an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Law at the Howard University Law School.