Economic Empowerment Awards:
Firm Wide Policies
This category recognizes a law firm that has made significant strides in advancing women by measuring what matters: the percentage of women on the executive or management committee, equity partnership committee, compensation committees, and the percentage of women who are relationship managers.
Latham & Watkins
Sharon Bowen is a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Ms. Bowen is a member of the Corporate Department. Ms. Bowen is the Co-chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and Chair of the firm’s Diversity Hiring Subcommittee of the Recruiting Committee.Ms. Bowen represents corporations, private equity firms, financial and institutional clients on a broad range of corporate, finance and securities transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, strategic alliances, securities offerings, corporate restructurings, distressed debt and asset acquisitions, venture capital financings and corporate governance matters.Appointed by the Obama administration, Ms. Bowen currently serves as Acting Chair of the Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC serves to restore funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and financially troubled brokerage firms. She also serves as a member of the Emeritus Board of Directors of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc. (formerly Executive Committee and Chair), the New York City Economic Development Corporation (Executive Committee); Northwestern Law School (formerly Executive Committee and Chair); PENCIL and UrbanAmerica, Inc.Ms. Bowen was recognized by the New York State Bar Association with the 2011 Diversity Trailblazer Award. She has also been selected as one of America’s top Black lawyers by Black Enterprise. Ms. Bowen was a member of the 2008 DirectWomen Board Institute, a collaboration.
Presented to a female partner who manages a substantial amount of business exceeding $2.5 million annually, this award recognizes outstanding business generation efforts and exemplary client service.
Chair, Executive Committee
Nina M. Gussack is a partner in the Litigation Department of Pepper Hamilton LLP and chairs the Health Effects Litigation Practice Group. Ms. Gussack is chair of the firm’s Executive Committee.Ms. Gussack’s trial practice is concentrated in civil litigation, with a primary emphasis in the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device companies regarding marketed products, investigational new drugs, medical devices and over-the-counter drug products. She serves as national coordinating and trial counsel and as regional counsel in pharmaceutical litigation, including class actions and multi-district litigation.Ms. Gussack represents pharmaceutical manufacturers, consultants and academic institutions in civil and criminal actions in related complex litigation involving health care fraud and abuse, and the defense of individual and class actions. She has conducted internal corporate investigations, audits and negotiations with government agencies. Her practice includes counseling regarding regulatory issues governing clinical trials and compliance in promotional activities.Ms. Gussack is former chair of the Defense Research Institute’s Drug and Medical Device Committee, and she is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council and the International Association of Defense Counsel. She serves on the Ethics Committee of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
Sharing the Power Award
This award is presented jointly to a female general counsel or senior leader in a law department and a female partner at a law firm who have collaborated to increase the economic empowerment of one or more female partners in that firm.
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Altria Group, Inc.
Denise Keane serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Altria Group. In her role, she leads the company’s Law department and the Corporate Secretary’s office.From May 1995 to December 1997, Denise served as Senior Vice President & General Counsel for Philip Morris USA and later Senior Vice President, Worldwide Regulatory Affairs, and Associate General Counsel for Philip Morris Companies.Denise served as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel for PM USA from 2001 until assuming her most recent position with Altria in 2008. She has engaged in the successful management of company litigation issues and has managed legal regulatory issues globally. During her career with the Altria family of companies, Denise has held various management and leadership positions.She is a member of the American Bar Association and is currently serving on the Commission on Women in the Profession and on the board of the Virginia Opera.
Appellate Litigation Partner
Winston & Strawn
Elizabeth Papez is an appellate litigation partner at Winston & Strawn LLP. She has extensive private and public sector experience handling all phases of high-stakes litigation and regulatory proceedings, and currently represents financial services and other public companies in complex litigation and agency matters. Prior to joining Winston, Ms. Papez served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and as a law clerk at the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals. Before her appointment to the Justice Department, Ms. Papez was a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Ms. Papez has advised the Executive Branch and Congress on a wide variety of complex legal and financial issues, has represented the United States in several appeals, and handles appeals and other challenging matters for private clients in agencies and federal and state courts across the country.
Ms. Papez is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the George Washington University and regularly delivers public and private lectures on litigation and compliance issues relevant to a broad range of industry sectors. She is also a member of Winston’s Hiring and Associate Review Committees, is active in the firm’s pro bono program, and assists Georgetown University’s Supreme Court Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in identifying and preparing significant business cases for appeal.
Mr. Papez received a B.S., summa cum laude, from Cornell University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was an officer and editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Pamela L. Carter Award
The award recognizes a woman whose unyielding vision, core values and philosophy of using her achievements as inspiration are critical to her roadmap for success. Pamela L. Carter was General Counsel at Cummins, Inc. before becoming President of the Cummins Distribution Business.
Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary
Debra Kuper joined AGCO, a $10 billion publicly-traded manufacturing company located in Atlanta in January 2008 as the chief legal officer and ethics and compliance officer with overall responsibility for managing 30 in-house attorneys, 12 support staff, 17 ethics and compliance officers, and 18 product safety engineers located in 9 different countries. She also is a member of the senior management team, reporting to the CEO.Kuper was chosen as one of the “2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Georgia” and received the Glass Ceiling Award at the Georgia Leadership Conference, sponsored by the National Diversity Council. She also won Business to Business Magazine’s “2012 Woman of Excellence,” Georgia Trend Magazine’s “2012 Legal Elite,” International Law Office’s “2011 Employment Team of the Year,” Inside Counsel Magazine’s “2011 IC Top 10,” the Board of Directors Network “2011 Executive Leadership Honor Roll” and Corporate Secretary Magazine’s “2011 Best Overall Governance, Compliance and Ethics Program.”Kuper has been the subject of several media profiles, including “Kuper Manages Large Legal Department” in the Atlanta Business Chronicle June 15, 2012, “The Agrarian Attorney” Profile April/May/June 2012, “AGCO Borrowed a Leaf from Caterpillar” Ethikos December 2011, “Global Outreach” Inside Counsel September 2011, “Farm Girl” The National Law Journal June 2011, “Compliance Questions Linger” Inside Counsel May 2010, “Coming up Roses” Inside Counsel September 2009, and “Heading Up the Farm Team” Corporate Counsel August 2008.Kuper served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Audit Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel – Georgia. She also is on the Advisory Boards for the Best Lawyers of America and the Willis Global Client Advisory Council. She is a member and frequent speaker for the Wisconsin Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Association of Corporate Governance Professionals, the National Diversity Council, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms, and the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals.
Kuper received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from Marquette University, where she also taught as an adjunct professor. Her hobbies include attending the opera, symphony, and theater. She also enjoys running in 5K and 10K charity races.
The Anastasia D. Kelly Award
The award honors a general counsel who has manifested a sustained commitment to accelerate the ascendancy of women to senior leadership roles in the law department and beyond. Their unselfish commitment to advancing women has made a significant impact professionally and personally on those she entrusts. Anastasia D. Kelly is the former Vice Chairman, Legal, Human Resources, Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs at American International Group, Inc.
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Estee Lauder, Inc.
Sara E. Moss is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of The Estée Lauder Companies. She is responsible for the worldwide legal activities of the Company and its subsidiaries, including Board of Directors, corporate governance, acquisitions, U.S. and global filings, government relations, intellectual property, licensing, litigation and global security. She serves on the Company’s Investment Development Committee, Fiduciary Investment Committee, Executive Leadership Committee, Program Management Team, Diversity Committee and is Chair of the Company’s Ethics and Compliance Committee.Before joining The Estée Lauder Companies in 2003, Ms. Moss held the position of Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Pitney Bowes Inc., which she joined in 1996. Prior to joining Pitney Bowes, Ms. Moss was a senior litigation partner at Howard, Smith & Levin (now Covington & Burling), a New York City-based law firm. From 1978 to 1981, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division in the Southern District of New York, where she prosecuted a wide range of federal cases. Prior to that, she practiced at Davis Polk & Wardwell and was a law clerk for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley, U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of New York. Ms. Moss is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Massachusetts and New York University Law School.Ms. Moss has received the Chambers USA Women In Law Award, NYU Law School Outstanding Alumna Award, Anti-Defamation League Human Relations Award, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund “Aiming High” Award, the Minority Corporate Counsel Diversity Award and the Pro Bono Partnership Outstanding Contribution Award. She serves on the Board of Trustees of NYU Law School, the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society and the Board of Directors of the American Arbitration Association. Ms. Moss has served on the Second Circuit Judicial Conference Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Federal Bar Council, and the mediation panel for the Southern District of New York. She has taught trial advocacy at Harvard Law School and the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. Since 2002 she has participated in Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women in Business forum.She has four children and lives in New York City.
Mary Ann Hynes Pioneer Award
The award is presented to a woman general counsel that has transformed being the “first” into being a catalyst for change. She indelibly raises the bar for attorneys and corporations by consistently demonstrating her dynamic expertise, core values and ideals that drive unprecedented collaboration, innovation and achievement to deliver sustainable results. Her strong sense of purpose transcends the legal profession, as she is devoted to both professional and civic leadership, policy reform and the economic advancement of others to achieve success. Mary Ann Hynes is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer for Corn Products International, Inc
Roderick Palmore Pathmaker Award
The award will be presented to a General Counsel or law department leader whose courage, unyielding vision, integrity, conviction and authenticity have carved a groundbreaking path and laid a new foundation to accelerate the economic empowerment of attorneys of color or women in law firms.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed
Candace K. Beinecke is the Chair of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, currently ranked #1 on The American Lawyer’s “A-List” of elite law firms in the U.S. She has held that position since 1999 when she became the first female chair of a major New York firm. Ms. Beinecke’s practice focuses on corporate governance and M&A.Before she headed her firm, Ms. Beinecke was involved in the Firm’s efforts to provide opportunities to talented women, which had long been a priority for Hughes Hubbard. For these efforts, she and the firm were honored by the National Organization of Women with NOW’s Women of Power and Influence Award. At the outset of her career, she was also involved with one of her former partners in creating the first committee on gender issues at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.Ms. Beinecke was selected as one of the “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America” by The National Law Journal, and is included in such publications as The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers for her corporate governance and M&A expertise. She is named one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in New York” and one of the “100 Most Influential Women in NYC Business” by Crain’s New York Business and was also listed as one of the “25 New York executives whose contributions in and beyond business changed the City.”In addition to her role as Chair of Hughes Hubbard, Ms. Beinecke serves as Chairperson of First Eagle Funds, Inc., a 5 Star public mutual fund family, and as a board member of ALSTOM (Paris), of Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE), and of Rockefeller Financial Services, Inc. She also serves as a Director and Vice Chair of the Partnership for New York City, and as a Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and as a Trustee of The Wallace Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Advisors, Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law, and a member of the Women’s Forum.