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DC Alumni | Women of Color Leaders: Breaking Barriers While Creating Inclusive Workplaces

Join us for lunch and a discussion moderated by Tracey Fung, Counsel at Verizon and a 2019 Pathfinder, on Wednesday, September 20 at the Verizon Technology and Policy Center.  Our panelists listed below will speak about their journey to becoming leaders at their organizations and other topics like mentorship. Lunch will be catered by Sinfully Wright Catering, a black-owned business, and participants will have an opportunity to network with each other and the panelists.  Space is limited so register soon!

Special thank you to Verizon and Venable LLP for hosting and organizing this event for the LCLD Alumni community. If you have any questions about this event, please contact DC City Lead Saminaz Akhter.

Please Note: All attendees are responsible for ensuring that their participation complies with applicable ethics rules. Government employees must register by September 15, 2023 in order to receive approval to attend from Verizon.



Mary Kim | Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at Draper

Mary is the Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of the Board of Directors of Draper (The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc.), an engineering and technology innovator in electronic, strategic and space systems as well as in biosecurity and biodefense.  Mary has deep experience in both public and private companies advising business leaders on corporate governance, compliance, strategic planning, risk management, business transformations, intellectual property, litigation and mergers & acquisitions, specifically in high growth, highly regulated, and global business environments.  Prior to Draper, Mary served as in-house counsel at several large publicly traded aerospace & defense contractors, including General Dynamics Corporation, and as outside counsel in large law firms in the Washington, D.C. area.  Mary is also co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association-DC’s In-House Counsel Committee.

Mary holds degrees with honors from Yale University (B.A.) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.).

Claudia A. Lewis | Partner at Venable LLP

Claudia Lewis, co-chair of Venable’s FDA Group, counsels clients on matters involving Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation, labeling, and marketing of foods, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, medical devices, and other products. With deep knowledge of dietary supplement labeling regulations, Claudia represents scientists, physicians, nutritionists, healthcare associations, and citizen groups. She has also aided international clients in establishing a U.S. market for their products. She has prepared and presented constitutional and administrative law cases before the FDA, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Claudia received her JD from J.D. American University, and her B.A. from Howard University. For more information click here.

Tonya Rutherford | Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Content and Franchising at Verizon

Tonya Rutherford is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Content and Franchising at Verizon, where she leads the legal teams responsible for content acquisition and strategy across all Verizon video platforms and video franchising for Fios TV. She has negotiated a variety of content acquisition agreements, including cable network affiliation and studio agreements for FiOS TV, content distribution agreements for Verizon’s go90 service, and content licensing agreements for the Yahoo and AOL properties. Ms. Rutherford graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, earned a J.D. from George Washington University Law School, graduated from Mercersburg Academy, and attended Davidson Fine Arts School in Augusta, GA. She is a founding member of the Black Alumni Association at Mercersburg Academy. She co-hosts Cipher, a vodcast about the experiences of Black alumni who attended Mercersburg, and is a former panelist at SXSW and guest on Lifting Up, a podcast about lessons from Verizon’s Women Leaders.

Lakshmi Williams | General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, North America at Transurban

As General Counsel for Transurban North America, Lakshmi Williams has responsibility for managing all legal work related to Transurban’s operating assets, development efforts and M&A. In addition, she oversees the risk and compliance functions for the North American business and has responsibility for all litigation. Prior to joining Transurban in 2012, she worked as Deputy General Counsel at GridPoint, an energy tech company, as well as Deputy Counsel at MicroStrategy, a public software company. Prior to going in-house, Lakshmi practiced as a corporate and securities associate at a few large Washington, D.C. law firms, including Hogan Lovells (formerly Hogan & Hartson).

Lakshmi received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her BA with a double major in Economics and English Literature from Rice University. She also received a Certificate in Executive Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management.