Welcome to the website of the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative. We are delighted you have come to learn more about the Initiative.
A special note of thanks and appreciation to the law firm of Thompson Hine LLP (www.thompsonhine.com) for generously providing the sponsorship funding necessary to build this website.
The Initiative was conceived in the summer of 2017 at the annual convention of the National Bar Association during the Corporate Counsel Institute. Ernest Tuckett, who at the time was General Counsel Americas of a company named AkzoNobel, gave a talk on the “State of Diversity in the In-House Bar.” He challenged the Black General Counsel in the audience to set an aggressive goal to increase the number of Black GCs – his challenge was to increase the number of Black GCs in Fortune 1000 companies from 38 (3.8%) to 50 (5%) by 2020, and to 100 (10%) by 2025. April Miller Boise, then-General Counsel of Meritor, Inc. (a Fortune 1000 company), who was in the audience, joined Ernest in this effort, and together they founded the Initiative.
An Advisory Council was formed, comprised of about 20 prominent Black GCs of Fortune 1000 and equivalent companies, and they agreed to serve as the key advisors and owners of the Initiative. Ernest and April continue to serve as co-leaders of the Initiative. Some of the key activities of the Initiative include:
– tracking and publishing a list of the Fortune 1000 Black GCs
– assembling and publishing a list of all Black GCs outside of the Fortune 1000
– providing aspiring GCs with tools and information to assist them in their career progression
– assisting executive recruiters and companies to find diverse talent when filling GC and other legal leadership roles
– mentoring a Cohort of Black legal leaders and giving them opportunities to network with and learn from prominent corporate leaders, recruiters and peers to advance their career goals
We hope that you will utilize this site to regularly keep abreast of the progress of the Initiative’s goal of increasing the number of Black GCs. We also hope that all lawyers aspiring to secure leadership roles in the future will review the resources on this site, particularly the Ideal Core Criteria for GCs (found on the homepage) prepared by the Advisory Council and top executive recruiters, and use those criteria as a roadmap for their career development plans with their supervisors, mentors, coaches and sponsors.
Thank you for your interest in the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative. Please help spread the word!
Ernest A. Tuckett & April Miller Boise