Marc S. Firestone | Elizabeth Chambliss | Brian W. Duwe | Elisa D. Garcia C. | Kim D. Hogrefe
Floyd Holloway, Jr. | Sharon E. Jones | John H. Mathias, Jr. | Madeleine McDonough | Lorraine LcGowen | Willie J. Miller, Jr. 
Terrence M. Murphy | Michael J. WagnerThomas P. White | Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. | Sandra S. Yamate


Marc S. Firestone (President and Chair)
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Philip Morris International, Inc.

Marc Firestone is Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Philip Morris International, Inc. Before joining Philip Morris in 2012, Marc was Executive Vice President, Corporate and Legal Affairs and General Counsel of Kraft Foods Inc., where he served since 2003. From 1988 to 2003, Marc held numerous positions in the law departments of Philip Morris Companies Inc. and Philip Morris International Inc., lastly as Senior Vice President & General Counsel of PMI. Marc started his legal career as an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC.

Marc received a BA, magna cum laude, in Romance Languages and Philosophy from Washington & Lee University and a JD, magna cum laude, from Tulane University School of Law.

Marc is a co-founder and the chairman of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession; Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School; a frequent speaker on international antitrust law, diversity and in-house legal practice; and a recipient of the Director's Roundtable Distinguished General Counsel award.








Elizabeth Chambliss
Professor of Law and Director, NMRS Center on Professionalism
University of South Carolina School of Law

Elizabeth Chambliss is a Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law and Director of the Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough Center on Professionalism. Elizabeth specializes in the empirical study of the legal profession, focusing on the organization and regulation of legal services and the challenges facing U.S. legal education. She was the principal organizer of the 2010-2011 Future Ed conference, a year-long contest of ideas for innovation in legal education, and she continues to be active in debates about legal education reform. Her most recent research focuses on the assessment of new models for delivering civil legal services and the effects of broader market changes on lawyers in state civil service. 

Elizabeth received her B.S. from the College of Charleston and her J.D. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, where she also served as Assistant Director for the Institute for Legal Studies. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Carolina, she taught at the University of Texas, the University of Denver, Harvard University, and New York Law School.




Brian W. Duwe
Partner
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP

Brian W. Duwe leads Skadden's Chicago office and concentrates his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and general corporate and securities matters. Mr. Duwe has represented buyers, sellers and their financial advisors in a wide variety of transactions, including negotiated and contested public acquisitions, private acquisitions and divestitures, management buyouts, restructurings, spin-offs, and joint ventures and other strategic alliances. He also has counseled issuers, selling shareholders and investment banks in public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities.

In addition, Mr. Duwe advises clients regarding general corporate and securities matters, including securities law compliance, corporate governance issues, disclosure issues, stock repurchase programs, shareholder agreements, severance arrangements and proxy contests. He has counseled numerous clients regarding shareholder activism, the implementation of shareholder rights plans and other corporate control matters.

Mr. Duwe's clients have included, among others, Abbott Laboratories; Ball Corporation; CF Industries Holdings, Inc.; Deere and Company; Exelon Corporation; Guidant Corporation; Hartmarx Corporation; Pactiv Corporation; Sara Lee Corporation; Solo Cup Company; Steelcase, Inc.; Stryker Corporation; Suros Surgical Systems; Unitrin, Inc.; US BioEnergy Corporation; U.S. Can Corporation; and VeraSun Energy Corporation.

Among his various M&A representations, in 2010 Mr. Duwe represented CF Industries Holdings, Inc. in its unsolicited $4.7 billion acquisition of Terra Industries and simultaneous defense of a hostile offer by Agrium, Inc. In its inaugural issue on innovative lawyers in the United States, the Financial Times recognized the deal as the most innovative M&A transaction in 2010.

Mr. Duwe also has represented financial advisors and underwriters in various securities offerings and M&A transactions.

Mr. Duwe lectures from time to time on corporate and securities law topics. He repeatedly has been selected in the Mergers & Acquisitions Law section of The Best Lawyers in America and included in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011.




Elisa D. Garcia C.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Office Depot

Elisa D. Garcia C. was named Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary in July 2007. She has been an attorney for over 25 years. Prior to joining Office Depot, she served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Domino's Pizza, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Earlier in her career, she served as Latin American Regional Counsel for Philip Morris International and Corporate Counsel for GAF Corporation. She began her legal career as a corporate associate with Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in New York.

Elisa is a graduate of the St. John's University School of Law in New York, and also received a joint BA/MS in Political Science and Management and Policy Sciences from W. Averell Harriman College, State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her memberships include the Association of Corporate Counsel and the National Hispanic Society of MBAs. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.




Kim D. Hogrefe
Senior Vice President and Senior Specialty Claim Officer
Chubb & Son

Kim D. Hogrefe is a Senior Vice President of Chubb & Son. He is the Senior Specialty Claim Officer of Chubb's Claim Department, with responsibility for claims of the highest complexity and financial exposure.

Kim joined Chubb in 1986 after nine years experience as a trial attorney, supervisor and administrator in the New York County District Attorney's Office. He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

He is a member of the American Bar Association and served from 2006 to 2009 on its Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was elected and served for three years as a member of the governing Council of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association. He was Co-Chair of the Professionals' Officers' and Directors' Liability Committee of TIPS. He was also the Chair of the Directors' and Officers' subcommittee of the Insurance Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The National Judicial College, an organization that offers courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence. 

Kim is a frequent speaker on the topic of Directors' and Officers' liability claim handling and related issues. He has made presentations at National and Regional RIMS, PLUS, the Stanford Law School Directors' College and various bar associations. He is the co-author of an article on D&O claim management published in 1997 by Risk Management Society Publishing, Inc. and a 1998 article on utilization of damage analysis in the settlement of securities class action claims.




Floyd Holloway, Jr.
Counsel
State Farm Insurance Companies

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Floyd Holloway received his B.A. degree in political theory and American government from Georgetown University College of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C., and his law degree (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center. Floyd is Counsel in the Corporate Law Department. His responsibilities include legislative and regulatory monitoring and advocacy for the Company's New York operations. He also provides and coordinates advice and counsel on compliance issues and others matters in the State.

Mr. Holloway began his career with State Farm in 1989 as a specialist in complex casualty claims and environmental coverage. He joined the Legal Department of the Fire & Casualty Company's General Claims Division in 1993, where he served as coverage counsel and was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Insurance Environmental Litigation Association. In 1995, he transferred into the Corporate Law Department, and assumed his current position as counsel in 2000. In the past he has served as State Farm's year 2000 Counsel, and has provided advice on a variety of technology-related issues, including the development and deployment of the Companies' Intranet and security infrastructure.

In addition to his legislative and regulatory responsibilities, Floyd manages the Corporate Law Department's Legislative Services Unit, which, among other things, provides support to the general departments and the network of state counsel responsible for legislative and regulatory affairs. He also manages office support operations for the Corporate Law Satellite Office in the Northeast Zone. Floyd is a past participant in the Northeast Zone's Enterprise Development Group, and served as the Northeast Zone Diversity Coordinator from 2003 - 2005.

Floyd is the past chairman of the New York Insurance Association (NYIA) (2003-2005). He remains active in the Association's governance and strategic planning process, serving on the NYIA Board; and in the management of public policy initiatives as chairman of the PAC Committee and the Automobile Insurance subcommittee. He is also a participating member on NYIA's legal, legislative and education and planning committees.

Mr. Holloway is a past chair of the American Bar Association's Minority Counsel Program, a constituent project of the ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was appointed Commissioner 2001, serving three consecutive terms through 2004. He is also an active member of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practices Section (TIPS) of the ABA where he currently serves as vice-chair of the Corporate Counsel Committee, and participates in the Section's Diversity Task Force. Floyd's previous assignments within TIPS include service on the Property Insurance and Emerging Issues Committees, and the TIPS Committee on Women and Minority Involvement.




Sharon E. Jones
Principal
Jones Diversity, Inc.

Sharon is a lawyer by training and a consultant specializing in providing diversity/inclusion strategic consulting and training to leaders of law firms, corporations, government and not for profit organizations. She is the President of Jones Diversity Group LLC. Her firm's broad range of services enables organizations to fully utilize, retain and promote women and racial and ethnic minorities into leadership roles as well as create inclusive workplace cultures.

Jones Diversity Group conducts assessments of law firm cultures with respect to diversity and inclusion; provides diversity and inclusion training/education, mentoring program design and training; management leadership coaching around issues of diversity and inclusion and strategic plan design and implementation. Sharon's work with Jones Diversity Group is national in focus but has involved work with global entities. She is a regular speaker at conferences within the legal profession, including partners' retreats; women's and minority retreats, and bar association diversity conferences.

Sharon has practiced law and been a community leader over a 20 year career, including positions as a federal prosecutor, with major law firms and with Fortune 500 Corporations. She has been highly successful as a litigator, strategist, manager, counselor, an educator and a problem-solver with regard to extremely complex and sensitive matters.

From 1985-1989, Sharon served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, based in Chicago, where she conducted federal grand jury investigations and trials in high profile white-collar criminal cases. In private law practice, she was a partner at Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert & Matz in Los Angeles. In addition to her litigation practice, she was responsible for all in-house continuing legal education, as well as being an adviser to clients on a variety of employment and workplace harassment issues. She was Of Counsel at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe in Los Angeles, where she created and implemented its litigation training as well as firm-wide orientation training and evaluation programs. Sharon has taught Trial Advocacy, both as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern Law School and at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy.

In the corporate sector, Sharon managed litigation matters worldwide for Abbott Laboratories, as well as advising senior management in matters of crisis management and in fashioning creative solutions to highly complex business issues. Most recently, Sharon acted as Senior Counsel at SBC Communications (now AT&T).

From 2000-2001, Sharon served as Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association Private Antitrust Litigation Committee and from 1994-1995, she was Vice-Chair of the American Bar Association West Coast Committee of White Collar Crimes. She is a co-author of two bar association reports providing consulting advice to Los Angeles County: The City in Crisis - A Report by the Special Advisor to the Board of Police Commissioners on the Civil Disorder in Los Angeles (October 1992) and Report of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Advisory Committee for the Office of the District Attorney (September 1994).

Sharon was Counsel of Record in the amicus curiae briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court in 2003 and 2006 by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago in Grutter v. Bollinger and the University of Michigan in support of diversity in higher education and in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District supporting the right to voluntarily desegregate public schools.

Sharon is a past President and co-founder of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago. While Program Chair she created the innovative monthly BWLA Roundtable luncheon series designed to increase mentoring and networking opportunities for its members. Sharon is currently on the Board of Directors for the Women Employed. She also served as a consultant to the ABA General Counsel Steering Committee to the Minority Counsel Program. She is a past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Racial & Ethnic Diversity and was instrumental in the 2006 adoption of the Chicago Bar Association's Diversity Initiative and Commitments on Racial & Ethnic Diversity for law firms and corporate legal departments. Sharon is the First Vice President of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association and will become its President in June 2010. She is an alumnus of Leadership Greater Chicago.

Sharon has received numerous awards including most recently the Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago's Woman of Vision Award (2006); Chicago Bar Association's Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges Award (2008); and the Young Women's Leadership Charter School's Industry Leader Award (2008). She is co-founder of the Association of Black Radcliffe Women (1975) and Black Women Lawyers Association of Chicago (1986); two organizations which continue to thrive.

Sharon is a co-author of a guide published by the American Bar Association in May 2004 entitled, "Walking the Talk: Creating a Law Firm Culture Where Women Succeed" which deals with the retention and promotion of women in law firms.

Sharon is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.




John H. Mathias, Jr.
Partner
Jenner & Block LLP

John H. Mathias, Jr. is a partner in the law firm of Jenner & Block. He is a senior member of its Litigation Department and Chair of the firm's nationally prominent Insurance Litigation and Counseling Practice. He is a veteran trial lawyer concentrating on business litigation with particular emphasis upon insurance coverage litigation, reinsurance arbitrations, class actions, directors and officers litigation, and professional liability litigation. He has co-authored over twenty legal publications, including Insurance Coverage Disputes (Law Journal Press 1996) and Directors and Officers Liability: Prevention, Insurance and Indemnification (Law Journal Press 2000).

John is a member of the Illinois Capital Litigation Trial Bar and frequently provides pro bono representation to indigent defendants in death penalty cases at both trial and appellate levels. He is currently national Chair of the American Bar Association's Death Penalty Representation Project.

John also serves on the boards of Chicago Sinfonietta (the nation's most diverse symphony orchestra), The Latin School of Chicago, and the Dartmouth Lawyers Association. He is the immediate past President of the Harvard Law Society of Illinois, and he is currently President of the Association of Alumni of Dartmouth College.

John is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Dartmouth College (1969) and Harvard Law School (1972).
 

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Madeleine McDonough 
Partner
Shook Hardy & Bacon 

Madeleine represents multinational companies in a range of industries: pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, food, cosmetics and beverage. She counsels clients on Food and Drug Administration regulations and represents corporations and individuals in product liability, toxic tort, personal injury and commercial matters. Madeleine advises organizations on preventative litigation approaches, policy and governance issues, emerging legal developments, creative resolution strategies, risk management, corporate social responsibility and crisis management. Madeleine also serves as National E-Discovery Counsel for clients.

Madeleine is chair of the firm's Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Practice, co-chair of the Agribusiness and Food Safety Practice and co-chair of the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Practice. She is currently serving a fourth three-year term on the firm's Executive Committee, and she heads up civic, diversity, pro bono, training, and client development activities.

The National Law Journal named Madeleine one of the nation's top 50 Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers in its inaugural 2014 class. She has been named a leading product liability attorney by Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and a Life Science Star by LMG Life Sciences. Madeleine has also been listed in The Legal 500 United States. In 2013, Missouri Lawyers Weekly honored her as Mentor of the Year for her long-standing dedication to advising younger colleagues, law students and high school students with an interest in the law. 

Madeleine is a lecturer in the Global Health Law LLM program at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. Before her legal career, Madeleine worked as a clinical pharmacist in a large university teaching hospital and brings her pharmaceutical background to her representation of pharmaceutical, medical device, food and cosmetics manufacturers in product liability, regulatory and related legal issues. 

Madeleine served as editor-in-chief of the Kansas Law Review. She earned her LLM in Global Health from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the University of Kansas School of Law's Alumni Board of Governors and Women's Advisory Council, and serves on the Community Advisory Board of KCUR-FM, a National Public Radio affiliate in Kansas City. 



Lorraine McGowen
Partner
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Lorraine McGowen is a partner in the international law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP where she focuses on restructurings.  One of IFLR1000’s Leading Lawyers, 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 United States and internationally.  She advises on all aspects of bankruptcy and creditors’ rights litigation, prepares and negotiates complex corporate and finance documents, and represents investors in, and purchasers of, financially distressed companies.  Ms. McGowen has been involved in many prominent bankruptcy and out-of-court restructuring matters including Indiana Toll Road, Puerto Rico, South Bay Expressway, City of Detroit, Lehman Brothers, MF Global, Tronox, and General Motors.

Ms. McGowen is the chair of Orrick’s firmwide 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.  She serves 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.







Willie J. Miller, Jr.
Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate
Mondelēz Global LLC

Willie Miller joined Kraft Foods Global, Inc. in 2007 as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Corporate with responsibility for managing Kraft's corporate legal activities. Prior to joining Kraft, Willie was a partner in the Chicago law firm Vedder, Price, Kaufman & Kamholz, P.C. as a member of the firm's Financial Institutions and Finance and Transactions Groups. Before joining Vedder Price, Willie was in the legal department of LaSalle National Corporation for 25 years where for the last six years he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. In his capacity as Chief Legal Officer, Willie led and managed the corporation's legal department consisting of 65+ attorneys and over 30 administrative and paralegal staff. He was largely responsible for the transformation and growth of the bank's internal law department. As a member of the senior management team, Willie was involved in the strategic direction of LaSalle's growth throughout the Midwest.

Willie is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Council of Metropolitan Chicago. He is also a former member and past president of the Board of Education for Evanston Township High School. Mr. Miller is an inaugural recipient of the Chicago United Business Leaders of Color Award and is a current member of the Fellowship of African American Men.

Willie earned his B. S. from the University of Illinois in 1975 and his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1979.







Terrence M. Murphy
Executive Director
Chicago Bar Association

Terry Murphy is the Executive Director of the 22,000 member Chicago Bar Association and a past president of the National Association of Bar Executives.

He began his career with the CBA in 1971 after graduating from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. degree in history. He has participated on numerous educational programs and committees for the National Association of Bar Executives and authored a number of articles about bar association work.
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Michael J. Wagner
Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Michael Wagner serves on Baker & McKenzie’s Global Executive Committee. He is the Chair of the North American Regional Council and the EC Chair of the Global Pro Bono & Community Service Committee.  He is the immediate past Chair of the Global Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Industry Group. He also leads Baker & McKenzie’s Product Liability, Safety and Recall Practice and is a senior member of the firm’s North American Litigation and Government Enforcement Group. Mr. Wagner concentrates his practice in commercial and tort litigation. He regularly represents global manufacturers as they confront mass tort and other litigation involving a wide range of products, from prescription medications to medical devices to food and other consumer products. He has tried numerous cases to verdict before juries. Mr. Wagner regularly has primary counsel responsibility for the defense of commercial and product liability claims.

Drawing on his skills as a trial lawyer and his experience as a former journalist for the Associated Press, Michael coordinates internal investigations, advises corporations confronting major crises, and helps them manage those challenges by coordinating media responses, developing appropriate litigation strategies, and working closely with senior executives as they make critical decisions. He regularly assists companies in conducting national and international product recalls, meeting the challenges of highly publicized mass tort and commercial claims, and responding to product safety and data breach situations. In 2011, he advised Sony in responding to the widely reported data security breach allegedly involving more than 70 million customer accounts.

Michael was selected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to serve as a stakeholder delegate to participate in the Third Biennial United States–China Consumer Product Safety Summit in Shanghai, Wuxi, and Beijing, China on October 21-26, 2009. The Summit included a series of direct discussions with senior representatives of AQSIQ, the CPSC’s counterpart agency in China.

Prior to joining Baker & McKenzie in 1983, Mr. Wagner served as a law clerk for the Honorable Fred J. Cassibry of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans. From 1981 to 1983, he was associated with the law firm of Jenner & Block.

Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.S., 1978) and University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1981).





Thomas P. White
Partner
Schiff Hardin LLP

Thomas P. White concentrates his practice in trademark, licensing, copyright and general intellectual property law. His practice encompasses selection, registration and policing of U.S. and international trademarks; litigation and resolution of disputes involving trademarks, copyrights, software licenses and other intellectual property rights and agreements; structuring and negotiation of intellectual property transactions, including brand and technology licenses, consent agreements, development agreements and distribution agreements; negotiation of software agreements, including licenses and implementation agreements; advising clients on advertising rights and publicity rights; and intellectual property aspects of corporate transactions

Tom also directs his firm's trademark prosecution practice. He has substantial experience in general commercial litigation and dispute resolution. He is a member of his firm's Diversity Committee and its Subcommittee on Racial, Ethnic and National Origin. He co-chairs IILP’s Social Media Committee.



Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr.
Presiding Judge, 1st Municipal District
Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois

E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., the Presiding Judge of Municipal District 1 of the Cook County Circuit Court since 2003, is a former President of the Chicago Bar Association.

Judge Wright has distinguished himself as one of the most active and visible leaders of the Chicago legal community with roles in civic, judicial and bar association initiatives. A frequent speaker and prominent champion of accessibility to justice issues and legal outreach in Chicago, he currently serves as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair of the Center for Conflict Resolution; on the Executive Committee of the Municipal District Presiding Judges Committee; on the Judges Mentoring Program; and on the Board of the Chicago Urban Day School. He is also a member of the Senior Review Board for the Guardianship Reform Project.

A frequent guest on Chicago-area legal affairs programs he has most recently appeared on CAN-TV's "Hotline 21," the Illinois State Bar Association's cable TV program; WBBM's "Morning News;" PBS Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight;" and CLTV News. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker at Chicago colleges and universities and at professional events and is the author of "The Other Shoe Drops," published in 2006.

He has been honored with numerous awards including the 2006 Vanguard Award of the CBA, presented to outstanding minority lawyers and judges; the 2007 Judge of the Year Award from the Illinois Commission for Honest Government; the Man of the Year Award from the Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church; the 2005 Dog Advisory Walk Group Award for community service on behalf of animals and pet owners; and the Gavel Award presented by the African American Employees Committee of the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in 2005. In 2004, he was named by the Center for Conflict Resolution one its "25 Most Influential People." He also was honored with the 2003 Chairperson Award from the Illinois Judicial Council.

Before taking the bench in 1994, the year he was appointed to the Cook County Circuit Court, he ran a solo practice in Chicago and served as a guardian ad litem in the Probate Division of the Circuit Court.



Sandra S. Yamate
Chief Executive Officer
The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. Previously, she spent ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, Sandra was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.

Outside the legal profession, Sandra is best known for her interest in multicultural children's literature. She and her husband are the founders of Polychrome Publishing Corporation, the only company in the country dedicated to producing children's books by and about Asian Americans. Sandra authored Polychrome's first two books, Char Siu Bao Boy and Ashok By Any Other Name. Polychrome books have been described as exemplary examples of anti-bias children's literature by Teaching Tolerance Magazine, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Institute, and are included in the Anti-Defamation League's World of Difference Program bibliography of recommended children's books.

Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee, the oldest Asian American social service agency in the Midwest and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women's Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. Sandra is a member of the Board of Trustees of The National Judicial College, an organization that offers courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges to achieve judicial excellence. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children's literature.

Sandra earned her AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.


   
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