James Sullivan, Alston & Bird partner and head of the firm’s New York office, has been selected as a Distinguished Fellow in the inaugural class of the Herndon Directors Institute (HDI), the nation’s first institute dedicated solely to preparing minorities and women as leaders in board governance.
Sullivan, who is also a member of Alston & Bird’s Partners Committee, advises institutional clients and management teams in domestic and cross-border M&A and corporate finance transactions. He also serves as outside general counsel to the U.S. operations of various foreign companies and private equity firms.
Backed by the Herndon Foundation – a private foundation established in 1952 by Atlanta Life Insurance Co., which was founded by Alonzo Franklin Herndon, a former slave who rose to become Atlanta’s wealthiest Black man – HDI will train its first class of 19 Distinguished Fellows for service and leadership as board members. The coursework will be led by iconic corporate leaders, current and former CEOs, and subject-matter specialists covering all facets of corporate board responsibility. HDI Fellows will be provided with experienced corporate board mentors, as well as an entire network of connections to board members and C-suite executives.
In announcing its inaugural class of Fellows, HDI partnered with Nasdaq to display the news on the Jumbotron in New York City’s Times Square. To mark the event, HDI Dean Dr. Johnnetta Cole said: “We are honored and pleased to partner with Nasdaq and other leading organizations to launching our Board-readiness learning with such accomplished corporate leaders as the Fellows in our inaugural class. Their presence on the Jumbotron in Times Square sends an undeniable message about the quest for equity through inclusion. It is the new face of ‘Stakeholder Capitalism’ as their contribution sets a benchmark for minority and women directors in corporate leadership that will change the landscape of governance.”