Akin Gump Welcomes Nimesh M. Patel as Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump is pleased to announce that Nimesh M. Patel has joined the firm as its chief diversity and inclusion officer, resident in its Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Patel joins Akin Gump from WilmerHale, where he was director of diversity and inclusion.
Having worked in both the private sector and the federal government, Mr. Patel has nearly 25 years of experience advancing diversity and inclusion issues. He was a 2017 recipient of Diversity Journal’s Diversity Leader Award, presented to “[those] advancing the evolution of diversity and inclusion, and the diversity officers working to achieve that goal.”
Mr. Patel will lead Akin Gump’s diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives, ensuring that the firm’s core principles of inclusiveness and diversity are reflected across its internal and external policies, work and practices. In this capacity, he will work directly with Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith and will report to the firm’s management committee.
“Akin Gump’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been a core principle of our firm since our founding, and Nimesh will be instrumental in helping us carry that vision forward in the years ahead,” said Ms. Koopersmith. “He brings great ideas and a thorough understanding of the value that diversity and inclusiveness represent to our firm and our clients.”
Akin Gump is a five-time recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Thomas L. Sager Award, which is presented each year to a large law firm that demonstrates “sustained commitment to improving the hiring, retention and promotion of diverse attorneys.” In addition, for 11 consecutive years, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has awarded the firm a perfect score on its Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies regarding LGBTQ workplace equality.
The firm was also recently featured in an article by Bloomberg Law for a focus on diversity among its leadership that “sets the firm apart from competitors,” including the naming of Ackneil M. “Trey” Muldrow III, an African-American partner, as head of the firm’s New York office, its second-largest.
Added Mr. Patel, “Akin Gump has an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. I am excited to work with the firm’s leadership, as well as lawyers and staff across the firm, to build on the success and good reputation the firm has achieved through its longstanding drive to build a diverse and inclusive firm.”
About Nimesh Patel
In his leadership position at WilmerHale, Mr. Patel worked with the firm’s management and diversity committees to develop and execute the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy, including the recruitment, professional development and advancement of diverse attorneys, as well as the creation of a number of diversity-related programs and initiatives.
Before joining WilmerHale, Mr. Patel served as the Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with 230,000 employees worldwide. In that role, he designed and executed the department’s first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, ensuring alignment with DHS’s missions, goals and objectives. He also developed performance metrics to evaluate progress and engaged internal and external stakeholders to communicate progress.
Mr. Patel’s prior work experience also includes being an associate in the labor and employment practice at two large international law firms, with a specialty in corporate diversity counseling. He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and as Assistant General Counsel at DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Mr. Patel is a past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and a member of the Board of Directors of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.
Mr. Patel received his J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and his B.S. from Michigan State University. He also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
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