Gibson Dunn Chief Diversity Officer Zakiyyah Salim-Williams promoted to Partner

August 8, 2022

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP today announced that Zakiyyah Salim-Williams, Chief Diversity Officer, has been elected as a Partner. The promotion of Salim-Williams to the partnership underscores the company’s continued commitment to being a market leader in DEI’s efforts and initiatives.

“Zakiyyah’s leadership in leading the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts has been nothing short of outstanding, and I am thrilled to report his well-deserved elevation,” said Barbara L. Becker, President and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn. “In my previous role as Chair of the Global Diversity Committee, I witnessed firsthand the impact of Zakiyyah’s tireless efforts. His vision and dedication have been instrumental in the firm’s significant progress. »

“I am thrilled to join the partnership at Gibson Dunn,” said Salim-Williams. “It’s remarkable to compare the legal landscape today to where I started my career as a lawyer – progress drives me and my colleagues to keep moving forward. I am grateful to partner with firm leaders, clients and the broader legal community to create a more diverse, fair and inclusive profession. ”

Among other accomplishments, Salim-Williams successfully launched the firm’s Women of Gibson Dunn and Black Advancement initiatives, which increased the number of female partners to more than 120 and increased the number of lawyers by 80%. blacks in the cabinet. She also actively engages in pro bono cases, most recently working with the board of directors of the Alliance for Asian American Justice, a nonprofit created in response to rising anti-Asian violence in the states. -United.

Gibson Dunn is proud of the incredible milestones we’ve reached on our diversity journey, including the elevation of Salim-Williams as the first Director of Diversity promoted to partner at a major law firm dedicated exclusively to to diversity and inclusion. Gibson Dunn is also committed to ensuring that diversity is reflected in the firm’s leadership. Diverse lawyers now make up more than 50% of local office leaders and 40% of practice group leaders at Gibson Dunn, resulting in 75% of the firm’s practice groups having a diverse leader. Additionally, various lawyers make up 50% of firm-wide committee chairs and 41% of the firm’s executive committee.

The firm has 17 active Affinity Groups, including our Asian American, Black, Hispanic/Latino, First Generation Professionals, LGBTQ+, Veterans, Muslim and Sabbathkeeper attorneys, who run hundreds of programs each year that make advancing our diversity and inclusion efforts. Additionally, the firm regularly partners with diverse local bar associations and community partners to advance diversity and inclusion in respective communities. Finally, Gibson Dunn is actively pursuing MLT Black Equity at Work certification, a one-of-a-kind roadmap for companies that are committed to achieving black equity and achieved plan certification earlier this year.

About Zakiyyah Salim-Williams

Salim-Williams joined Gibson Dunn as Chief Diversity Officer in 2011, where she led various diversity and inclusion efforts including the launch of Women at Gibson Dunn and the Black Advancement Initiative, among others. Prior to joining the firm, Salim-Williams served as Director of Diversity at the New York City Bar Association, served as a clerk at the District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and was a partner in two international law firms. She has also worked as an intern for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and for the Office of the President’s Counsel at the White House.

She is also a director of the New York Junior Tennis & Learning Board, and a founding member and advisor of the National Business Coalition for Child Care. She serves in an advisory and administrative role on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Asian American Justice, a national volunteer initiative committed to advocating for victims and preventing future acts of anti-Asian hatred. Additionally, Salim-Williams played a leadership role as a member of the planning committee for the George Floyd Global Memorial’s 2nd Annual Rise and Remember Celebration in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She graduated in 2001 from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Fellow, and in 1998 from Howard University, summa cum laude with a degree in political science.