Milbank adds diversity chief from AmEx as more firms grow C-suites

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REUTERS/Toru Hanai

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  • Mikeisha Anderson Jones is firm's first chief diversity officer
  • Milbank is at least the second big firm to pick a diversity exec this week

RALEIGH, NC (Reuters) - Milbank has named Mikeisha Anderson Jones as its first global chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, the New York-based firm said Tuesday.

Jones, an attorney, was previously vice president of global inclusion and diversity at American Express, developing events, pipeline programs and partner relationships that helped increase minority representation at the credit card giant.

Her hire adds Milbank to a quickly expanding roster of major law firms with C-suite level diversity leaders, as clients and firm lawyers push for greater inclusion and representation at all levels. Law firms have placed an even greater emphasis on internal diversity since protests over the killing of George Floyd last summer.

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Already this week, Husch Blackwell said Monday that it brought on Amanda Garcia-Williams as its chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer from retirement planning firm Jackson.

“Evolving our focus on DEI is absolutely fundamental to our success and ability to deliver maximum value to clients, colleagues, and the community,” Milbank chairman Scott Edelman said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome Mikeisha to Milbank and look forward to adding her authentic leadership, insight, and unique perspective to our team."

Jones joins a team of at least three diversity professionals at Milbank. She will lead firmwide inclusion efforts in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Before taking on her executive diversity role at American Express, Jones was the company's vice president for global contracts, legal and proposal strategy. She managed more than 60 lawyers and staff to create and negotiate commercial contracts, according to her LinkedIn profile.

“I am delighted to join Milbank as its first Chief DEI Officer, particularly during such a pivotal time for all of us, Jones said in a statement. "Through this role, I have the opportunity to evolve the firm’s commitment to excellence both internally by elevating Milbank’s culture of equity and inclusion, and externally by positioning the firm as a leader, partner, and visionary in the DEI space.”

Read more:

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MoFo, Venable fill new lead roles for diversity and inclusion

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Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.