Past Winners

Award Year Name Company
2020 Izu Emeagwali Vice President and Associate General Counsel | J.P. Morgan
Izu Emeagwali is a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for the Corporate and Investment Bank at J.P. Morgan Chase and Company (JPM). At JPM, Izu advises global businesses on data use and data protection initiatives, artificial intelligence and technology. There she serves on the Legal Diversity Council; is co-chair of the External Bar Recognition Sub-Council, whose purpose is to connect with external diverse bar organizations to help promote diversity; and mentors junior women of color in their career development.
Bradley M. Gayton Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel | Ford Motor Company
Bradley M. Gayton is chief administrative officer and general counsel, effective June 1, 2017. In this role, Gayton leads the company’s litigation, tax, corporate and intellectual property efforts. He also advises the company’s board of directors and senior management on a wide range of legal issues, and oversees its General Auditor’s Office. His responsibility now also includes leading Ford Land and Corporate Services efforts. He reports to Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO.
Bruce Jackson Associate General Counsel, Global Sales, Marketing & Operations, US Regulated Industries | Microsoft Corporation
Bruce Jackson is an Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft Corporation where he currently supports the Global Sales, Marketing & Operations (GSMO), U.S. Regulated Industries Group. In this role, he leads the engagement of a $14 billion business and manages a team of fifteen. Since his inception at Microsoft in 2000, Bruce has been determined to play a pioneering role in digital media, and be a champion for diversity and inclusion, often speaking about the general necessity, corporate responsibility, and economic advantages of D&I.
Shayne O’Reilly Associate General Counsel, IP Litigation | Facebook, Inc.
Shayne is an Associate General Counsel of IP Litigation at Facebook, Inc., where he is responsible for managing domestic and international IP litigation matters. Shayne has been recognized for his efforts in increasing diverse representation among Facebook’s outside counsel, and ensuring that diverse attorneys receive billing credit.  Shayne also co-chairs the Black employee resource group for Facebook’s legal department.
Vaishali Udupa Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Litigation | Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Vaishali is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of Litigation at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).  In additional to being an IP subject matter expert and spearheading HPE’s IP litigation, Vaishali has made a concerted effort to address diversity issues that have challenged the legal profession, including demanding and pushing for more women and diverse attorneys in the legal field and on her case teams.
Corporate Legal Department Honoree | Intel
Intel’s in-house legal team has demonstrated a sustained commitment to advancing the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in IP and within the technology industry. In 2019, Intel announced the “Intel Rule” to promote an increase in diverse ownership in US law firms. Under the Rule, beginning in 2021, firms will only be eligible to perform legal work if at least 21% of the firm’s US equity partners are women, and at least 10% of the firm’s US equity partners are underrepresented minorities.
2019 Laurie Charrington Associate General Counsel | Intel Corporation
In addition to being the Patent Litigation Team lead, Laurie is on the leadership team for Intel Legal’s women’s leadership program, Leading Edge, and is co-chair of Intel’s global Black Leadership Council (IBLC).
Joe Lee Associate General Counsel | Microsoft
Joe has been with Microsoft since 2000, and currently leads the Microsoft Devices & Hardware legal team. He is an active board member and leader in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Accepting the award on Joe’s behalf was Aneesh Metha of Microsoft.
Lisa Collins Intellectual Property Partner | BakerHostetler
In 2018, the NBA awarded Lisa the 40 Under 40 Award and the Excellence in Leadership Award, which honors one member of the 40 Under 40 class for outstanding leadership.
John Gibson Litigation Partner | Crowell & Moring
John is chair of the firm’s 3D Printing Digital Transformation Working Group and a co-chair of the Diversity Council. In 2019, John was honored as the “Attorney of the Year” by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association.
HP Inc.
North Carolina Central University School of Law
2018 Sharon Barner Vice President and General Counsel | Cummins
Karen Borno Managing Associate General Counsel | Verizon
Aparna Dave Managing Counsel | Wells Fargo
Braxton Davis CEO | Patent Institute of Training
Cassandra Knight Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel | PayPal
Usman Mughal Partner | Green, Howard, & Mughal
Wanji Walcott Senior Vice President and General Counsel | PayPal
2017 Diallo Crenshaw Principal | Jordan IP Law
David Ho EVP & General Counsel | Fullscreen Media
Catherine Toppin Senior Patent Counsel and Manager | General Electric
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