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Tony West Leads Covington Diversity Speaker Series

September 13, 2017

Earlier this summer, Covington warmly welcomed Tony West as part of our Diversity Speaker Series. Mr. West is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of PepsiCo. Before joining PepsiCo, Mr. West held senior positions in the Department of Justice during the Obama Administration. From 2012 to 2014, he was the Associate Attorney General of the United States, the Department of Justice’s third-ranking official. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. West was the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, DOJ’s largest litigating division.

After a friendly introduction by Mr. West’s former boss, the 82nd Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, Mr. West discussed the importance of diversity in the legal profession. Mr. West noted that diversity at the highest levels of an organization has become a business imperative because research has shown that diversity drives innovation, contributes to higher performing teams, and improves company culture. Mr. West described PepsiCo’s strong commitment to diversity, which includes factoring diversity metrics into its hiring of outside counsel and celebrating those law firms that have demonstrated leadership on increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession at PepsiCo’s Outside Counsel Diversity Recognition Day. Mr. West also reflected on his own career path, recalling how the experience of facing tough decisions during some of his most challenging cases made him a more capable attorney.

Mr. West took questions and engaged in a lively dialogue with the audience of Covington attorneys and summer associates. The lunch-time event was at capacity in Covington’s D.C. office, and well-attended via VTC by various other U.S. offices.

Eric Holder, Tony West, Tammy Albarran


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