Wiley Names Rashida MacMurray-Abdullah Its First Chief Diversity Officer
Washington, DC – Wiley today announced that Rashida MacMurray-Abdullah has joined the firm as its first Chief Diversity Officer. In this important, newly created role at the firm, Ms. MacMurray-Abdullah will focus on implementing policies, programs, and initiatives to promote and sustain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. The position coalesces Wiley’s efforts to increase the representation of individuals from diverse backgrounds at the firm through recruiting efforts, mentoring and professional development programs, and the cultivation of a workplace where everyone feels valued and included.
In response to recent tragic police killings of Black Americans and the ongoing, immense social impact across the country, Wiley’s leaders have been holding conversations about racism, anti-racism, and firm culture, and have committed to make lasting change that elevates diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of decision-making. In consultation with the firm’s African American & Black Lawyers Affinity Group, the firm’s senior leadership created the Chief Diversity Officer position to increase accountability of Wiley’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.
“It is our core belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts must begin with mutual respect and an understanding that our differences make us stronger,” said Managing Partner Peter D. Shields. “Now, at this pivotal moment in history, we are reaffirming our long-term commitment and dedicating additional resources to this mission.”
“Rashida will play an important part in this undertaking and will make an excellent addition to the Wiley team,” Mr. Shields added. “As a seasoned lawyer and tech-savvy business professional, she brings creativity and great leadership skills to this critical position.”
“I am thrilled to join Wiley as its first Chief Diversity Officer. This moment is an enormous opportunity for Wiley to advance one of its core pillars, and I am eager to help the firm amplify its efforts to foster belonging, create an environment where all people can thrive, and advance diverse perspectives to help its employees and its clients succeed,” said Ms. MacMurray-Abdullah. “For me, Wiley is a firm that checks all the boxes, with an outstanding team of talented professionals, a sustained commitment to excellence, and a passion for making the world better for its employees, practices, and clients.”
Ms. MacMurray-Abdullah comes to Wiley after 12 years at Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory, where she counseled a range of clients including law firms and in-house counsel. Throughout her career, Ms. MacMurray-Abdullah has served in multiple diversity leadership roles and has developed and implemented policies and programs designed to promote and empower professionals from underrepresented groups. She also is a sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion.
“Rashida is an extraordinary communicator with the ability to lead, engage key stakeholders, and empower diverse teams during challenging times, and we are excited to have her join us,” said Anna M. Gomez, partner in the Telecom, Media & Technology Practice and chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.
Drawing upon more than 15 years of industry experience as a civil engineer, attorney, and management consultant, Ms. MacMurray-Abdullah has in-depth experience steering teams and individual clients through complex situations to successful outcomes. She has extensive experience as a strategic leader and results-oriented manager, having delivered professional services to numerous global Fortune 100 companies. She is active in her community, including leadership roles with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, the Ridley Scholarship Fund, and the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section. She received her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law and her B.S. in Architecture and her M.E. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Wiley joined with more than 125 firms to form the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance (LFAA) in June 2020. By leveraging the resources of the private bar, the LFAA plans to better utilize the law as a vehicle for change to benefit communities of color and promote racial equity. Wiley Pro Bono Partner Theodore A. Howard helped draft the charter for this powerful group, which will use their networks and resources to deploy substantial pro bono hours, monetary donations, and thought leadership to address systemic racism.
Wiley embraces diversity and is committed to building and maintaining a professional workforce that reflects the firm’s core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The firm believes its clients are enriched by working with a diverse group of exceptional attorneys who, through different outlooks, insights, and experiences, are able to produce more innovative solutions and improve client outcomes.
Senior Communications Manager