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July 2020 Update
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Message from the Chair

July marks the halfway point of what has proven to be an unprecedented year across the globe. As I reflect on how much has changed since this year started, I am heartened by DirectWomen's resiliency. Steadfast in its commitment to increasing the representation of women lawyers on corporate boards, DirectWomen has worked tirelessly to create a slate of outstanding virtual programs. In this Update, it is my distinct pleasure to share with all of you, the members of DirectWomen's network, a glimpse of what's to come in the year ahead. 

Save the Date for A Conversation with Valerie Jarrett

Save the date and join DirectWomen board member Patricia K. Gillette on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, at 12:00 pm Eastern as she sits down for a virtual book discussion with Valerie B. Jarrett.

Throughout her incredible career in law, business and public service, Valerie Jarrett was often the only woman—particularly the only African American woman—in the room. In FINDING MY VOICE, Jarrett invites readers into her life along her remarkable journey from childhood in Iran to the White House and beyond. Through personal stories, Jarrett offers her optimistic view on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.

2020 / 2021 Virtual Programming Lineup

DirectWomen is thrilled to announce a slate of virtual programs, which will be offered over the course of the coming year. See below for a taste of what's to come and stay tuned for additional details, including confirmed program dates and registration links.
Why Corporate Board Diversity is More Important Than Ever
Research reveals that companies with women board members, particularly those with three or more women board members, financially outperform, on average, those with fewer or no women board members. In the era of COVID-19, board diversity is more important now than ever before. 

Elisa D. Garcia, Chief Legal Officer, Macy's, Inc.; Director, Dollarama Inc. 
Sharon Y. Bowen, Former Commissioner, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Partner, Seneca Women; Director, Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. and Neuberger Berman
(Moderator) Denise F. Keane, Chair, DirectWomen; Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Altria Group Inc.

Top Tips for Building Board Ready Connections
It’s no secret that the right connections can make a huge difference in landing a board seat. Learn how to expand your network and build board ready connections. Attendees will walk away with concrete steps to strengthen your network and identify board opportunities.

Abby Adlerman, CEO and Founder, Boardspan Inc.
Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, The New York Public Library; Director, Gogo Inc.
Marla S. Persky, President and CEO, WOMN LLC; Director, Xeris Pharmaceuticals and YGEIA Group; Board of Advisors, Text IQ
(Moderator) Michelle Banks, Senior Advisor and Executive Coach, BarkerGilmore; Former Global General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Gap, Inc.

The New Normal of Global Corporate Board Membership
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate boards are facing a host of novel challenges. The challenges are even more complex for global corporations, with operations and personnel located in the US and other countries. Join DirectWomen for a video webinar as we explore the "new normal" of public board membership and how women lawyers can best position themselves to join global and international corporate boards. 

Patricia Diaz Dennis, Former General Counsel and Senior Vice President, AT&T, Inc.; Director, United States Steel Corporation, Entravision Communications Corporation, and Amalgamated Bank
Suzanne Rich Folsom, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Philip Morris International Inc.; Director, Equal Future Corp.
(Moderator) Stephanie A. Scharf, Partner, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC; Principal, The Red Bee Group; Chair, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession


Power Chat with Former Honoree Paula Boggs
Join us as Paula Boggs sits down for a candid conversation with DirectWomen Board Member Brande Stellings.

Paula Boggs, Founder, Boggs Media, LLC; Director, Avid Technology, Inc.
(Interviewer) Brande Stellings, Principal, Vestry Laight


Leaving the Legalese Behind: Lawyers as Corporate Board Candidates
Empirical studies indicate that lawyer-directors’ professional judgment, legal expertise, and familiarity with regulation and risk management improve the value and operation of the company. Join DirectWomen and our distinguished panelists for a webinar exploring the value proposition of lawyers as board candidates. 

Malissia R. Clinton, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, The Aerospace Corporation; Director, 3D Systems
Connie R. Collingsworth, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Legal Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Director, Banner Corporation, Premera Blue Cross, and Women’s World Banking
(Moderator) Trevor S. Norwitz, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Power Chat with DirectWomen Co-Founder Mary Ann Jorgenson
Join us as DirectWomen co-founder Mary Ann Jorgenson sits down for a candid conversation with friend and fellow DirectWomen board member Hillary A. Sale. 

Mary Ann Jorgenson, Former Senior Partner, Squire Patton Boggs; Director, Anthony & Sylvan Pools Corporation 
(Interviewer) Hillary A. Sale, Associate Dean for Strategy, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Professor of Management, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University; Public Governor, FINRA Board of Governors

Breaking into the Corporate Boardroom: The Pathways and the Process
Our distinguished panelists will provide tips on how you can best position yourself to serve on a corporate board. Attendees will leave with a clear picture of what it takes to land a board seat.

Mike Petters, President and CEO, Huntington Ingalls Industries
Teresa M. Sebastian, President and CEO, The Dominion Asset Group; Director, Edward Jones Bank and Kaiser Aluminum Corporation
Sara E. Spiering, Partner, Global Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officers, and Industrial Practices, Heidrick & Struggles
(Moderator) Anastasia D. Kelly, Partner and Executive Director - Client Relations, DLA Piper; Director, Huntington Ingalls Industries and Owens-Illinois, Inc.

Power Chat with Former Honoree Pamela L. Carter
Join us as Pamela L. Carter sits down for a candid conversation with DirectWomen Board Member and Past Chair, Bobbi Liebenberg.

Pamela L. Carter, Former President, Cummins Distribution Inc.; Former Attorney General, State of Indiana; Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, CSX Corporation, Enbridge Inc., and Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.; Chair, Nashville Symphony; Secretary, The Sycamore Institute; National Board Member, Teach for America
(Interviewer) Roberta D. Liebenberg, Senior Partner, Fine, Kaplan and Black, RPC

Gateway to Corporate Board Service: Demystifying the Experience
Looking for a window into the boardroom? Join our distinguished panelists as they offer their insights into “the room where it happens.” Attendees will leave with a clear understanding of how to evaluate board service opportunities, and how to be a savvy and effective board member once in the boardroom. 

Sandra Phillips Rogers, Group Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Diversity Officer and Corporate Secretary, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; Director, MSA Safety Incorporated
Melanie M. Trent, Former Executive VP, General Counsel, and CAO, Rowan Companies plc; Director, Arcosa, Inc., Diamondback Energy, Inc., and Frank's International N.V.
(Moderator) Sarah C. Dodds-Brown, Executive Vice President and Managing Counsel, General Counsel's Organization, American Express Company

DirectWomen Alumna Added to Board

Carol DiBattiste was elected to the board of Wayside Technology Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: WSTG), an IT channel company providing innovative sales and distribution solutions.

To date, more than 32% of DirectWomen alumnae have been elected to serve on a corporate board. 

Articles and Research of Interest

Thank you for your help in supporting our mission. If you have suggestions for additional ways to strengthen DirectWomen’s outreach during this unprecedented time, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Take care and stay safe.
All the best,

Denise F. Keane
Chair, DirectWomen

Thank You to Our 2020 Sponsors and Individual Donors!

Platinum Ambassador Sponsors





Platinum Sponsors


Individual Donors

Susan Alexander
Roya Behnia
Mary J. Dent
Deneen L. Donnley
Ulrika Ekman
Randa Fahmy
Peggy A. Heeg
Mary Ann Jorgenson
Christine B. LaFollette
Marla S. Persky
Teresa M. Sebastian
Karen E. Silverman
Rachel R. Stern
Andrea E. Utecht
Robin Walker-Lee
Michelle M. Warner
Jennifer Wolfe

Gold Sponsors


Latham & Watkins LLP and
Karen E. Silverman

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
Garrison LLP

Thompson Hine LLP

Toyota Motor North America, Inc.


Silver Sponsors


Huntington Bancshares Incorporated


Interested in sponsoring DirectWomen in 2020? Contact Laura Beth Hooper for more information. 

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