By Alan Hatfield
Vinson & Elkins yesterday announced that the firm has hired a Global Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). Deborah Martin Owens joins the firm’s New York office to work closely with leadership and take the lead in developing and implementing firmwide DE&I initiatives and serving as a strategic advisor on retention and promotion of underrepresented lawyers.
“Vinson & Elkins’ energy and openness to innovation surrounding its DE&I structure has been front and center in all of my conversations with the firm,” said Martin Owens in a statement. “I am equally energized by how the firm wants to grow, placing culture and people at the core, and I look forward to applying my experience advising on DE&I issues to its global platform.”
Martin Owens received her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, where she interned for The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and went on to spend nearly 12 years as an attorney for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
Most recently, she developed and implemented programs, policies and initiatives to support strategic diversity and inclusion goals for the Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. offices of Sidley Austin, where she served as East Coast Diversity Director. Before that, Martin Owens engaged with law firms, corporate legal departments, nonprofits, government agencies, and academia to guide inclusion initiatives for the legal profession as the Executive Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion at the New York City Bar Association.
“Our core principles pertaining to DE&I are central to our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest lawyers and business professionals to serve our clients,” said Hy Pomerance, Vinson & Elkins’ Chief Talent Officer, in a statement. “By defining clear goals and transparent metrics, Deborah and our recently expanded DE&I-focused professional team will further align the firm’s business objectives with our mission to build on our inclusive culture where everyone has an opportunity to thrive.”