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Conference on Racial Equality in Corporate Governance

Over a series of three panel discussions, we will be joined by business leaders and top legal thinkers to explore how to increase racial diversity in the C-suite and boardroom, how corporate leaders can promote a more inclusive workforce and racial equity, and what (if anything) a rebalanced system of corporate governance can do to promote racial equity.

On October 29, 2020, we launched the conference with introductory remarks by Leo E. Strine, Jr., former Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, before beginning our first panel “How Can We Increase Racial Diversity in the C-Suite and Boardroom?”

Panel 1: How Can We Increase Racial Diversity in the C-Suite and Boardroom?

In this first installment of our conference series, Professor Chris Brummer (Agnes N. Williams Professor Faculty Director Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown University Law Center) moderated a discussion on how to increase racial diversity in the C-suite and boardroom. The panel debunked excuses for insufficient diversity in these spaces and explored topics such as the economics of diversity and implications for fiduciary duties, generating a diverse pipeline of candidates, equity in promotion opportunities, and equity and inclusion in the boardroom experience.


Gilbert Casellas, Independent Director and Consultant
Janet Foutty, Executive Chair of the Board, Deloitte US
Paul Martin, Chief Diversity Officer, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Barry Lawson Williams, Retired Investment Consultant and Corporate Director

Keynote Panel Discussion Recording

We concluded with a “deep-dive” session on statutory reform in the context of California’s newly enacted statute requiring public companies to include directors from underrepresented communities. Dean Gillian Lester (Dean of the Faculty of Law and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, Columbia Law School) moderated a conversation between Professor Joseph Grundfest (William A. Franke Professor of Law and Business, Stanford Law School; Senior Faculty, Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance Stanford University) and Professor Aaron Dhir (Florence Rogatz Visiting Professor of Law Yale Law School; Associate Professor of Law Osgoode Hall Law School).

Statutory Deep-Dive Session Recording

Hosted by Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership Columbia Law School


Panel 2: What Can the C-Suite and Boardroom Do to Promote a More Inclusive Workforce and Racial Equity?

In this second program of the conference, on November 14, the discussion examined strategies and best practices for how boards and executive leaders can advance progress at their companies on the critical issues of inclusion and racial equity. Board, Human Capital Management, Institutional Investor and Technology leaders shared perspectives on the important questions of managing expectations from constituents inside and outside the corporation, the role of the corporation in its community and measurement of progress on inclusion and racial equity issues.


Dane E. Holmes, CEO and Co-Founder, Eskalera; Former Executive Vice President, Partner and Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs
Jonathan McBride, Former Managing Director, Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity, BlackRock; Advisor to Boards, CEOs and Executive Teams
Phuong Phillips, Chief Legal Officer, Zynga
Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow; Former Senior Vice President, Global Talent, LinkedIn; Board Member, Accolade and Zenefits

Hosted by: Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance and Stanford Center for Racial Justice, Stanford Law School

Panel 2 Recording

Panel 3: What (If Anything) Can a Rebalanced System of Corporate Governance Do to Promote Racial Equity?

The third installment of the conference, on January 14, will examine mechanisms and agents for rebalancing corporate governance in the interest of promoting racial equity. This session will explore questions of defining corporate purpose and best practices, the role of disclosure requirements, executive compensation incentives, and the roles of directors, investors, proxy advisory firms, and general counsel in addressing racial equity. Lisa Fairfax (Alexander Hamilton Professor of Business Law and Director of the GW Corporate Law and Governance Institute, The George Washington University Law School) and Omari Scott Simmons (Howard L. Oleck Professor of Business Law and Director of Business Law Program, Wake Forest School of Law) will moderate the discussion.


Keir Gumbs, Associate General Counsel, Global Corporate, M&A and Securities and Deputy Corporate Secretary, Uber Technologies
Osagie Imasogie, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Partner, PIPV Capital
Erika James, Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Krevitt, ‎Managing Director & Global Head, Human Capital Management, Consumer & Investment Management Division, Goldman Sachs
Anne Robinson,
Managing Director, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Vanguard
Kim Rucker, Director, Celanese Corporation, Lennox International, Inc., and Marathon Petroleum Corporation

Hosted by Institute for Law & Economics University of Pennsylvania

Panel 3 recording

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