Baker McKenzie announced today that Anna Brown has been appointed as the Firm’s first Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer (CIDO). Since joining the Firm in 2017, Anna previously served as the Firm's North America Director of Diversity & Inclusion and, most recently, as Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion.
Baker McKenzie Chair, Milton Cheng, said, “During her time with Baker McKenzie, Anna has made a tremendous impact in strengthening the Firm’s ability to build a more inclusive and equitable culture and has also worked closely with many of our key clients on furthering their inclusion and diversity objectives. This appointment emphasizes the importance that we place on these goals and the critical nature of Anna's work with me and our Executive Committee to apply an inclusion and diversity lens across all aspects of our Strategy and in its implementation."
Global Chief Operating Officer, Kate Stonestreet, said, “Anna is an exceptional talent. She has an innate understanding of what it takes to be an inclusive organisation and an ability to raise awareness and drive the change necessary to achieve this. She is a role model to many and leader in this space. Her ability to engage with and support our people and to ensure that the principles of diversity, inclusion and equity are at the heart of our decisions and how we operate as a business is what sets her apart. As she steps into this new role, and into the leadership team, I look forward to working more closely with her to expand on the fantastic work she has led to date."
“I’m thrilled to have this vote of confidence from our leadership, and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done at Baker McKenzie. I know that we have much more to do within our industry. I look forward to continuing to build a culture of inclusion and to advance our strategic and robust initiatives and goals in all of our offices around the globe,” said Anna.
Anna has spearheaded several key initiatives at Baker McKenzie, including:
- The Firm’s 40-40-20 Gender Aspirational Targets Policy, which expects a 40-40-20 gender balance — representing 40% women, 40% men and 20% flexible (women, men, non-binary) — at the partnership, leadership levels and candidate pools for senior attorney and director-level hires, and the adoption of targets for members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in the US, Canada and UK.
- Achieving Mansfield Certification Plus, which recognizes firms who affirmatively consider at least 30% women, lawyers of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and/or lawyers with disabilities for significant roles within the firm, governance roles, equity partner promotions and senior-level lateral hiring. The "Plus" status recognizes that, in addition to meeting Certification requirements, the Firm has achieved at least 30% diversity in a notable number of current leadership positions and committees.
- The founding of a Global Taskforce on Racial and Ethnic Diversity as well as a North America Anti-Racism Taskforce.
- The global Sponsorship program for senior women attorneys.
- Firm-wide D&I education and awareness programming.
With more than 20 years of experience, Anna earned her J.D. from Howard University Law School and began her legal career as a corporate associate at Shearman & Sterling in New York. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a past president of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, and a recipient of the New York City Bar Association's Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazer Champion Award, recognizing her critical role in initiating and sustaining change.
Anna is the co-author of "Diversity in Action: A Manual for Diversity Professionals in Law," published by the American Bar Association for individuals holding diversity and inclusion roles in law firms and corporate legal departments, and currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Mount Sinai Medical Legal Partnership, a nonprofit organization in New York City. She is a frequent lecturer and panelist on topics related to inclusion, diversity and equity in the legal profession.