Influencers

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Neal Suggs, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft

As the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for the Commercial team in Microsoft’s Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (CELA) group, Neal Suggs has served as Microsoft’s lead commercial attorney since September 2010.  He works directly with customers, partners and regulators on enterprise cloud services, with a deep focus on data privacy and compliance issues. He helps to address cloud compliance issues that are critical for customers of all sizes, particularly in highly-regulated industries and in light of data privacy and protection laws and regulations around the world. Much of Neal’s recent focus has been on engaging with Financial Services customers and regulators to establish Microsoft as the cloud provider best positioned to meet the industry’s unique needs. 


His current role draws on past experience at Microsoft providing counsel on sales models, licensing and contractual agreements and issues spanning from the SMB to enterprise markets. Throughout his experience, he has developed insight into sales programs and commercial agreements for traditional software and cloud services. He is keenly aware of how compliance and data privacy issues have changed and continue to evolve at a global level.


Neal is a frequent speaker on the role of trust and compliance in cloud services, including delivering one of the keynote addresses at the 36th Annual Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in 2014, as a session presenter at bbcon 2015 (Blackbaud’s Conference for the Philanthropic Community), and as a panelist at the Society for Computers and Law “Cloud Computing for Financial Institutions” event in October 2015. In October 2014, CIO Review published Neal’s article entitled “Maximizing the Benefits of Cloud in Highly Regulated Industries” in its Compliance Technology Special edition. Neal also penned the article “Cloud computing: What firms need to know” for the Solicitors Journal in March 2016.


In addition to his focus on the cloud, he is proud of his contributions and leadership efforts to develop an industry leading legal team through a variety of diversity efforts, overseeing strategy development, program development for students, and more.


He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School.  

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Genhi Givings Bailey, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Perkins Coie

As Perkins Coie’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Genhi Givings Bailey is responsible for developing and executing the firm’s strategy to attract, recruit, retain and promote more diverse lawyers and to foster a firmwide culture of inclusion and belonging. Genhi works collaboratively with other firm leaders and members of firm management to advance the firm’s diversity and inclusion goals.

Previously, Genhi led strategic diversity and inclusion efforts at DLA Piper for more than 10 years, during which time the firm received numerous diversity-related awards and recognition.

As an inclusive and authentic leader, Genhi is thrilled to help Perkins Coie continue to advance its long-held commitment to diversity and inclusion as core values.

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Charlie Bingham, Corporate Counsel at Microsoft

Charlie Bingham is currently employed as an attorney at Microsoft. As a member of Microsoft’s Corporate and External Legal Affairs U.S. Regulated Industries team, Charlie supports a multi-billion-dollar business. Charlie’s practice focuses on advising internal business clients on complex cloud computing and technology agreements with large public sector customers in the U.S. as well as advising on a variety of other corporate matters. 


Charlie is a true champion of diversity and is very involved in Microsoft's diversity efforts. He is a very active mentor and strives to utilize every available “pulpit” in his efforts to raise awareness about diversity and inclusion. He is a regular presence on panels at events held by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, National Bar Association, Black Entertainment & Sports Lawyers Association, Association of Corporate Counsel and Howard University School of Law. 


During his career Charlie has won several distinguished awards, including Microsoft’s inaugural Embracing Challenge/Growth Mindset Award for creating an innovative contract which resulted in over $30 million in Surface Sales, the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2017 Top 10 30-Something Award, the NBA Young Lawyers Division’s 2018 Humanitarian Award, and Howard University School of Law’s 2019 Sesquicentennial Gala Rising Star Award which recognizes a young alumni that has made notable contributions to the legal profession, is a leader in the community and has made service contributions to Howard University School of Law.


Prior to joining Microsoft, he served as an Attorney-Advisor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor – Branch of Acquisitions and Intellectual Property and worked as a corporate associate at Arnold & Porter before that.


Charlie is a 2008 Howard University School of Law graduate, received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Morgan State University in 2005 and received a Bachelor of Science from Jackson State University in 2002.

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Daphne Turpin Forbes, Senior Attorney at Microsoft

Daphne Turpin Forbes is currently a Senior Attorney at Microsoft. She manages and leads a team of transactional lawyers who serve as trusted legal partners to Microsoft’s Regulated Industries Enterprise Operating Unit (“EOU”); specializing in digital transformation deals in the U.S Public Sector: Federal (Civilian), State & Local Government, Education, and Citizenship verticals. 


Prior to joining Microsoft, she was in-house counsel at Discovery Communications, Inc. and ACS State & Local Solutions (formerly Lockheed Martin IMS). While at ACS, she handled a variety of contract negotiations and advised clients on government procurement practices, ethics rules, and other matters specific to conducting business in the State & Local Government space. At Discovery Communications, her advice focused on network programming for popular shows, including the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, and Animal Planet, to name a few.


Daphne actively supports diversity initiatives internally at Microsoft and externally through various organizations. She is a member of many volunteer organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the Prince George’s County (MD) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and the Prince George’s County, Maryland Chapter of Jack & Jill of America. She is a member of various boards and advisory councils in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and a member of the Maryland State and National Bar associations. 

Daphne is the recipient of various corporate awards for her diversity and client support work. In addition, Daphne is the recipient of the Microsoft MVP Circle of Excellence Award, and the National Bar Association’s Clyde E. Bailey Corporate Leadership Award.


Daphne is a graduate of Michigan State University and the American University Washington College of Law. She lives in Bowie, Maryland with her husband, and two fabulous teenage children.

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Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law

Lateef Mtima is a Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law. After graduating with honors from Amherst College, Professor Mtima received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he was the co-founder and later editor-in-chief of the Harvard BlackLetter Journal (today the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice). Professor Mtima is the editor/contributing author of Intellectual Property, Social Justice, and Entrepreneurship: From Swords to Ploughshares (Edward Elgar 2015) and the co-author of Transnational Intellectual Property Law (West Academic 2016), and has published numerous scholarly articles in the field of intellectual property law. The Founder and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, an accredited Non-governmental Organization Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which advocates for the recognition and fulfillment of social justice obligations in the application of national and global intellectual property law and policy, Professor Mtima is a recipient of the 2018 Public Knowledge “IP3” Award for his work in developing the theoretical perspective of intellectual property social justice as a scholarly discipline.

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Bernie Lawrence-Watkins, Principal attorney at B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC

Bernie Lawrence-Watkins is a seasoned principal attorney at the law firm of B. Lawrence Watkins & Associates, PC, concentrating in the areas of Entertainment, Technology, Licensing, Copyright, Trademark, Business Transactions, Litigation and Corporate Formations.  Her clients include Grammy® Award winning music producers, artists and songwriters, some of who have sold over 10 million units in sales. She also represents major label record executives, Deejays, independent record labels, managers, music and film/television production companies, screenplay writers, and clothing designers. Ms. Lawrence-Watkins has over twenty years of experience in drafting and negotiating complex agreements ranging from licensing, employment, corporate transactions, to product endorsement and influencer deals on behalf of entertainment and corporate brands. Ms. Lawrence-Watkins’ sharp negotiating skills have earned her clients over millions of dollars in revenue. Over the years, she has represented a wide range of clients such as 21 Savage, Young Nudy, Super Producer Tay Keith, JetsonMade, Jagged Edge, Social Media Influencer Miss Mulatto and Woah Vicky, to name a few. She periodically appears as a guest lecturer and panelist at colleges, law schools and conferences nationally and internationally. Ms. Lawrence-Watkins is the mother of two sons, one in college and the other in high school. 

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Ousman Jobe, U.S. Public Policy Senior Manager at LinkedIn

Ousman Jobe is a U.S. Public Policy Senior Manager at LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the internet. 


He helps develop technology policy strategy across the United States. Ousman engages with Congress, multilaterals and policy-oriented nonprofits on issues ranging from privacy to the future of work. Out of 6,000 colleagues, he was recognized as a 2019 LinkedIn Values hero for being open, honest and constructive and his impact across the company


Before LinkedIn, Ousman spent 16 years in management consulting, executive search and brand management. 


He was born in The Gambia, has lived/worked in 15 countries and speaks three languages fluently.


He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.


Social media handles: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ousmanjobe/ ן Twitter: @ojobe

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Tiffany J. Smith, Partner at Wilmer Hale

Tiffany J. Smith has over a decade of experience advising and representing broker-dealers and other financial institutions, including financial technology companies, regarding compliance with federal and state securities laws and regulations and the rules of the self-regulatory organizations. Ms. Smith’s practice primarily focuses on three areas: (i) broker-dealer regulatory compliance, (ii) representing clients in connection with enforcement matters and regulatory examinations, and (iii) providing regulatory advice in connection with corporate transactions.


With respect to broker-dealer regulatory compliance, Ms. Smith often advises clients on newly adopted rules and areas of increased regulatory focus, including the rules on market access, securities trading and market activities, short sales, and issuer repurchases. Ms. Smith also has experience advising clients on the regulatory implications of new and emerging technologies (e.g., blockchain) and helping clients navigate the regulatory hurdles associated with these technologies. In addition, she counsels clients on triggers for broker-dealer registration, including those related to offshore activities and those related to the activities of financial technology companies.  


Ms. Smith has experience representing clients in connection with regulatory examinations, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement matters, and the FINRA MC-400 Membership Continuance Process, and conducting internal investigations.


Ms. Smith often serves as regulatory counsel in connection with corporate transactions involving broker-dealers, advises clients through the FINRA new and continuing member application processes, and counsels clients on the triggers for filing a FINRA continuing member application.  


At the firm, Ms. Smith has been active on the Diversity Committee, Hiring Committee, Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, and various volunteer-based initiatives. From 2016–2019, she was co-chair of firm's New York summer associate program.

While in law school, Ms. Smith was a Compliance Audit Specialist for M&T Securities. She audited personnel to ensure compliance with internal, federal and self-regulatory organization rules, and held the following securities licenses: Series 6, 7, 24, 53, 63 and 65. Ms. Smith also interned at the Investment Management Division of the SEC and the Litigation Department at FINRA.


In 2014, Ms. Smith completed the Council of Urban Professionals Executive Leadership Program, a year-long leadership development program comprised of leadership training, coaching and keynote conversations with executives. Ms. Smith is also a member of the Wall Street Blockchain Association, the New York City Bar, the National Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and the LGBT Bar Association of New York; and on the Board of the Legal Aid Society.

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Sandy Swain, Assistant General Counsel at Microsoft

Cassandra T. Swain, PhD, is an assistant general counsel at Microsoft, where she leads a team of patent attorneys supporting the AI & Research Division on patent portfolio strategy, filing, and management. She also coordinates Microsoft patent pro bono projects.  Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Swain was a partner at Morrison & Foerster in Palo Alto, CA, in the electrical and computer patent prosecution group.  She received her JD from George Washington University Law School.  She has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University; an ME in Computer Engineering from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute; and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alabama.  

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Qudus Olaniran, Senior Attorney at Microsoft

Qudus Olaniran is a senior attorney in Microsoft's Intellectual Property Group.  Qudus joined Microsoft in 2016 as a patent attorney with responsibility for patent portfolio strategy and management for Microsoft’s Surface products.  Prior to joining Microsoft, Qudus practiced as a patent litigation attorney at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe and Perkins Coie in California.  And prior to his legal practice, Qudus was an electrical engineer with experience at companies like Intel, Sun Microsystems, and a couple of silicon valley startups sprinkled in.  Qudus has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.

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Jian Ma, Senior Director at Microsoft

Jian Ma is a Senior Director at Microsoft, focusing on building strategic partnerships that help drive digital transformation and advance Microsoft technologies. She joined Microsoft from Intellectual Ventures a few years ago, and also worked at Qualcomm in the past. Jian has a Ph.D. in Physics.  

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Harry Wingo, Assistant Professor at the National Defense University

Harry Wingo is an Assistant Professor at the National Defense University (NDU), USA.  He is a member of NDU's College of Information and Cyberspace, and focuses on cyber law and emerging technologies, particularly the law and policy aspects of “smart city” technologies like smart grid, 5G, unmanned aircraft systems and artificial intelligence. Professor Wingo’s previous roles include Senior Policy Counsel at Google, Counsel to the Senate Committee on Science, Commerce & Transportation, Special Counsel to the General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission, and commissioned officer within the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and the United States Naval Academy.