Reed Smith is pleased to announce that Deborah Broyles, a San Francisco-based partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group, has been appointed Reed Smith’s new Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I).
“Deborah’s reputation as a veteran trailblazer in diversity efforts precedes her,” said Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s Global Managing Partner. “Deborah has contributed greatly to the success of our D&I efforts, which have been recognized globally by our clients, as well as professional and community organizations, and, for that, we should all be pleased. Now, we look forward to the next chapter and the continued success of this initiative under Deborah’s leadership.”
In her role, Deborah will direct this global, firm-wide initiative and lead the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which includes 14 U.S. partners, six UK partners, five senior staff members, and eleven associate liaisons, and 13 subcommittees.
“I am honored and excited at taking on the leadership of such a successful, and truly global, initiative,” said Ms. Broyles. “We, at Reed Smith, are committed to developing diverse attorneys through scholarships, mentoring, education, networking, life-work balance, and opportunities to be involved and do meaningful work. I especially look forward to connecting the diversity leaders of tomorrow with our clients.”
Deborah represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including claims related to discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, wage and hour issues, among others, in federal and state courts, and before various administrative agencies.
Deborah’s contributions towards efforts to promote diversity in the legal industry and throughout the United States are significant and long. A member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the Charles Houston Bar Association, Deborah has served on the Board of Directors of the California Minority Counsel Program for ten years. In 2014, she also served as the Black Women Lawyers of Northern California Affiliate Director of California Women Lawyers, and she has served many leadership roles for the California Association of Black Lawyers over the last two decades.
Locally, Deborah served six years on the Board of Directors, and currently sits on the Advisory Board, of HealthRIGHT 360, which provides comprehensive, integrated, compassionate medical and mental health care to low income individuals with substance use disorders. She is also an active, longtime member of the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Bay Area African American Partners Group, and the San Francisco chapter of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
As a leading employment lawyer, Deborah is also a member of the National Employment Law Council and served on the Board of Directors of the Positive Resource Center, which remains the only place for people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS to get comprehensive benefits counseling and employment services in San Francisco.
Named among Northern California Super Lawyers for the past ten years, and ranked among the “Top 50” women in Northern California for her excellence in law, Deborah is especially well-honored for her contributions to the causes of diversity and inclusion. The California Diversity Council called her one of “The Most Powerful and Influential Women in California” in 2009, and the Golden Gate University Black Law Students Association named her a “Diversity Icon” in 2012, the year the Minority Bar Coalition presented her with a Unity Award.
Most recently, Deborah’s accomplishments and leadership in D&I efforts contributed greatly to Reed Smith receiving in 2014, for the second year in a row, the prestigious Thomas L. Sager Award for the West Region from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.
Additionally, this month, the Profiles in Diversity Journal named Reed Smith a “2015 Diversity Leader,” along with 19 other large institutions, such as Coca-Cola, Citigroup, KPMG, PNC Financial Services, and The Walt Disney Company. These honors are among numerous other accolades the firm garnered during the past year for its commitments to a diverse workplace and women’s career advancement.
Deborah joined Reed Smith in 2008 as a partner from Thelen LLP, where she had worked for twelve years, the last six years of which she served as the firm’s National Diversity Director. Previously, she had been at Steinhart & Falconer, and began her legal career at Pettit & Martin in 1993, after graduating from Harvard Law School.
Deborah takes the reigns of Reed Smith’s D&I Initiative from Washington, D.C.-based partner Tyree P. Jones, who will continue to work with the initiative.
“It has been my privilege and honor to develop programming, promote employee benefits, increase awareness of the strategic importance of diversity and inclusion to our business, and increase opportunities for diverse attorneys to succeed at Reed Smith,” said Tyree. “I, too, look forward to continuing these efforts under Deborah’s leadership.”
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