Press Releases

New York City Bar Association Announces 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Winners

The New York City Bar Association will present its 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Awards at its Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner on June 27 to Sheila Kearney Davidson, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company; John Mbiti, Director & Counsel, Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC; Susan L. Shin, Partner, Arnold & Porter.

The award recognizes the critical role individual attorneys have played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations and the overall New York legal community. The award recipients embody the New York City Bar’s Statement of Diversity Principles, which defines diversity as an inclusive concept, encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, nationality, age, disability and marital and parental status. The City Bar has recognized diversity and inclusion champions since the award was created in 2006.

“The City Bar is proud to recognize these individuals who have fostered greater inclusion in the legal profession by mobilizing their extensive networks to advance diversity in their respective organizations and within the greater community,” said City Bar President John S. Kiernan. “This year’s Champion Award recipients and their unique accomplishments illustrate the far-reaching effects of collaboration and commitment, driven by courageous leadership, on our profession.”

Following is information on The 2018 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award winners:

Sheila Kearney Davidson – Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel, New York Life Insurance Company

Sheila Kearney Davidson is Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel of New York Life Insurance Company.  In addition to leading the company’s legal operations, she also oversees its compliance, governance and operational risk functions.

Ms. Davidson joined New York Life in 1991 and has served in many leadership positions in legal, compliance and administrative areas.  She was appointed to New York Life’s Executive Management Committee in January 2001.

Ms. Davidson is a member of the New York State Bar.  She serves on the boards of Fairfield University, Madison Square Park Conservancy, St. Luke’s School, the Citizens Budget Commission and the Life Insurance Council of New York.             She is a frequent speaker on topics such as legal and compliance best practices and diversity.

In 2016, the National Law Journal named Ms. Davidson one of America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel citing her commitment to diversity.  She is the founding executive sponsor of The Women’s Initiative, New York Life’s Employee Resource Group that connects and empowers women across the company.  Ms. Davidson also founded a diversity committee for her areas of responsibility which is currently comprised of more than sixty employees.  The committee meets monthly to discuss internal and external diversity initiatives, and supports more than ten organizations across the country.

Ms. Davidson graduated cum laude from Fairfield University with a B.A.  She received her J.D. from George Washington University.

John Mbiti – Director & Counsel, Credit Suisse Asset Management LLC

John Mbiti is a director and counsel at Credit Suisse Asset Management, LLC. Mr. Mbiti is responsible for managing legal coverage of the US managed liquid funds including credit, commodities, securitized products and liquid alternative investments. The investment vehicles covered included CLOs, mutual funds, commingled private funds and separately managed accounts.

He advises Credit Suisse Asset Management on regulatory developments such as securities regulations, derivatives regulations under Dodd Frank and EMIR, banking regulations such as the Volcker Rule, commodities regulations such as rules relating to commodity pool operators and the delineation between derivatives transactions regulated by the CFTC and those regulated by the SEC.

Prior to his employment at Credit Suisse, he was an executive director at UBS Securities, LLC in New York. He has a bachelor of law degree from the London School of Economics and a master of law degree from New York University School of law and is admitted to practice law in New York and England.

He has been recognized for his leadership abilities and in 2015, was shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for their In-House Minority Lawyer of the Year Award and in 2016, LEAD (Lawyers for Empowerment and the Advancement of Diversity) the umbrella organization which he founded, won the Financial Times/Interlaw Apollo Architect of Meritocracy Award. He was also nominated and confirmed as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2017.                  

Susan L. ShinPartner, Arnold & Porter

Susan L. Shin is a trial lawyer and complex commercial litigator on behalf of public companies, financial institutions and other corporate clients in litigated disputes and class actions in federal and state courts and arbitrations. In the last few years, Ms. Shin served as trial counsel in five trials to verdict in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the most recent of which she served as lead trial counsel and achieved a full defense jury verdict.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Susan worked at J.P. Morgan as an Associate in the investment management business, during which time she attended Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.  Susan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Raymond J. Dearie, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, from 2002 to 2003.  

She started at Arnold & Porter as a litigation associate in December 2003 and was promoted to partner in January 2011. In December 2014, Susan was elected by Arnold & Porter’s partnership to the Policy Committee, the firm’s governing board.  She serves a Co-Chair of the New York Hiring Committee and has an active pro bono practice representing New York City charter schools in bringing and challenging actions involving charter school co-locations and is a frequent CLE speaker on legal ethics.  From 2016 to 2017, Susan served as President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.  She is an active member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and serves on NAPABA’s CLE Selection Committee.

The full bios of the winners and more information about the award and the Celebration Dinner can be found on the City Bar’s website: 

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.