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GC’s Role in Creating an Ethical and Diverse Business Culture

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 87 minutes
Recorded Date: October 16, 2019
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  • Why is Diversity Important?
  • The Logic of Diversity
  • The Power of Diversity
  • The Power of the Client
Runtime: 1 hour and 27 minutes
Recorded: October 16, 2019


Building a strong corporate culture requires hard work, but if employees have an appreciation of how their company defines ethical behavior and how it expects them to behave, it triggers fewer investigations and internal control audits. In addition to keeping up a morally good reputation, culture acts as a unitive force that conveys the company’s true essence; making it easier to navigate through the hard times.

In this session, GCs and in-house counsel discuss the business benefits of a strong ethical culture, how ethics is valued in their corporations, and what work needs to be put in from the company and its employees to achieve success.

This program was recorded as part of ALM and Corporate Counsel's 2019 Women, Influence and Power in Law Conference on October 16th, 2019.

Provided By

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Kirstin Etela

Senior Vice President, Assistant General Counsel & Compliance Officer

Kirstin is currently the Compliance Officer responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining a comprehensive corporate compliance program at FactSet.

In her previous role, Kirstin was responsible for Environmental, Health, Safety, Security, Regulatory Affairs, Real Estate, Litigation, Trade Compliance, and Records Management. She was a member of the M&A team at Chemtura that participated in the sale process. In her former role with Chemtura, she was responsible for global litigation (including commercial, IP, employment, product liability, environmental, and regulatory); compliance with environmental, health and safety laws; and compliance with regulatory programs including product registration laws, chemical notification laws, and export control laws. Kirstin served as Director of Compliance, conducted internal investigations, designed and implemented compliance policies and procedures, and reported to the Audit Committee. She has experience developing and implementing programs to address export control compliance, crisis management and communications, data privacy, legacy data remediation, internal corporate ethics and compliance investigations, and conflict minerals SEC reporting obligations. Kirstin has served as interim Director of Compliance for Chemtura on two occasion, reporting the to Chief Compliance Officer and the Audit Committee. She worked directly with the executive leadership team on risk mitigation projects and divestitures.

Kirstin's private practice focused on environmental law including compliance matters, transactions, and emerging issues including climate change. Secondments with key clients provided insight into specific businesses in highly regulated product categories (pharmaceuticals, chemicals).

Prior to law school, she had an eight-year career in the retail industry and held positions as a buyer for Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and World Duty Free Americas and as a sales manager for seasonal accessories with the Echo Design Group.

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Carol DiBattiste

General Counsel & Chief Compliance, Privacy and People Officer

Ms. DiBattiste advises the company on all legal matters, including strategic corporate initiatives, technology alliances, business transactions, intellectual property protection and litigation, and also oversees the company’s human resources and facilities departments. As Chief Privacy Officer, Ms. DiBattiste is responsible for establishing the company's privacy and data security policies, overseeing the implementation of such policies and educating legislators, the press, industry and consumer groups and the general public about the company's approach and commitments to consumer privacy.

Prior to joining Comscore, Ms. DiBattiste served as the Executive in Charge and Vice Chairman of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Ms. DiBattiste’s public sector work also included senior executive positions in the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security. Among her many distinguished roles, she served as the Under Secretary of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, where she led a $70 billion, 710,000 military and civilian department responsible for recruiting, training and education, and readiness, and earlier as Principal Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Navy. Ms. DiBattiste was also the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security, where she led a $5.3 billion, 55,000-employee agency. She also served as a federal prosecutor and Deputy United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, and as the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, where she led the operations of the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices nationwide.

In the private sector, Ms. DiBattiste served as Chief Privacy Officer at ChoicePoint, where she also served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. ChoicePoint was acquired by Reed Elsevier/LexisNexis during her tenure. At LexisNexis/Reed Elsevier, she served as Senior Vice President, Privacy and Security. She has also served as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer at Geeknet, Inc., and Chief Legal, Privacy and Administrative Officer at Education Management Corporation. Previously, Ms. DiBattiste was a partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight, where her specialties included government relations, corporate diversity counseling, and civil and criminal litigation.

Ms. DiBattiste graduated with a B.A. from LaSalle University, and holds a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and an LL.M. from Columbia University School of Law. In addition, she has completed the Strategic Leadership Program at Harvard Business School and served in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and judge advocate (JAG).

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Gabrielle Kohlmeier

Associate General Counsel

As Associate General Counsel at Verizon, Gabrielle Kohlmeier leads the company’s FTC and competition policy strategy, is responsible for counseling Verizon’s businesses on all aspects of competition law issues, and represents the company before US and international competition agencies. She is also on Verizon’s Public Policy Law and Security D&I Council.

Gabrielle is a frequent speaker and writer on competition, technology, compliance, business, and diversity issues. An active part of the ABA, she is Chair of the ABA Antitrust Section Privacy Legislation Task Force and Co-Chair of Women.Connected. Next to competition and emerging technologies, her passion lies in promoting diversity and inclusion.

Gabrielle volunteers with STEM programs for girls, mentors younger professionals, and leads numerous initiatives focused on advancing women and other marginalized people.

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Jill Simeone

General Counsel & Secretary

Jill Simeone is Etsy’s General Counsel and Secretary, bringing more than 15 years of experience in international strategic advising, compliance, and public company reporting. She oversees the Legal and Policy team.

Before joining Etsy, Jill served as Vice President, Senior Counsel and Assistant Secretary at American Express Global Business Travel, where she ran the legal side of their strategic growth strategy. Previously, Jill held General Counsel positions at KCAP and CEMEX. She started her career in the Manhattan DA’s Office.

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Tara K. Giunta

Paul Hastings LLP

Tara K. Giunta is a partner in the Litigation practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Ms. Giunta is also Vice Chair of our Investigations and White Collar Defense practice and Chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Ms. Giunta has extensive experience in advising companies in sensitive industries, including life sciences/healthcare, technology, telecommunications, defense, manufacturing, and more.

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