Gibbons Chief Diversity Officer Listed Among Profiles In Diversity Journal’s “Black Leaders Worth Watching”
October 5, 2020
Robert Johnson, Chief Diversity Officer of Gibbons P.C. and a Director in the firm’s Corporate Department, has been featured on the inaugural Profiles in Diversity Journal “Black Leaders Worth Watching” list. The 2020 Black Leaders Worth Watching edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal, featuring profiles of all 54 honorees, will be available online in late November.
Award recipients are recognized for their professional talents and skills, willingness to mentor and support the next generation, and commitment to their broader communities. The organizations that nominate candidates for this award demonstrate C-suite support of people of color in leadership positions. “We are proud and pleased to honor these outstanding leaders and recognize the organizations that support their success,” says James Rector, Profiles in Diversity Journal publisher. “With this year’s Award, we introduce our first class of Black Leaders Worth Watching. We look forward to featuring many more remarkable black leaders in the pages of our magazine over the coming years.”
“We are continually impressed by all that Rob has done for the Gibbons Diversity Initiative in his three years as the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer,” said Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons. “While he has worked to introduce a number of innovative recruitment and retention platforms here at the firm, he has also made community outreach a priority, promoting the ideal of equality in both the workplace and society at large.”
Mr. Johnson’s most recent significant achievements as the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer include the development and implementation of the Gibbons Clerkship to Associate Pipeline (CAP) Program, which helps highly qualified students of diverse backgrounds, selected by participating faculty and administrators of three area law schools, to prepare for post-law school employment. He and the firm’s Diversity Committee put together a wide-ranging slate of programming for Black History Month in February 2020, culminating in a firm-wide luncheon catered by a Black-owned restaurant and featuring Senator Cory Booker, who reflected on his parents’ struggle to purchase a home in the New Jersey suburbs in the 1960s, a motivating factor behind his public service. Mr. Johnson was also a driving force behind the firm’s first-ever Juneteenth observation in 2020, which included June 19 as a paid holiday for all employees and two service initiatives that reflected the Juneteenth ideal of an equal, just, and inclusive society: (1) a Juneteenth virtual fundraiser for the Fresh Air Fund, to help close the major, COVID-related funding gap faced by a charity Gibbons has long supported, which ultimately raised $40,000 for a beloved organization that sends Newark children to camp each summer; and (2) a partnership with the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s “Small Businesses Need Us” Program, through which Gibbons attorneys are matched with women- and minority-owned enterprises negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis, in order to assist, pro bono, in various legal practice areas.
Earlier this year, ROI-NJ named Mr. Johnson to both its “Champions of the C-Suite” list, as a winner in the “Chief Diversity Officer/Chief Human Resources Officer Champions” category, and to the “Influencers: People of Color” list. In 2019, he was an Eastern Region Honoree on the inaugural Lawyers of Color “Nation’s Best” list.
Mr. Johnson’s legal practice concentrates on mergers and acquisitions, securities regulations, corporate governance, public finance, cross-border transactions, and various other corporate transactional matters. He represents public and private companies, commercial banks, and governmental agencies and helps his business clients to expand their markets and establish significant presence throughout the region. He has previously been selected to the New Jersey Law Journal “New Leaders of the Bar” and The Network Journal “40 Under 40” lists.
About Profiles in Diversity Journal
Profiles in Diversity Journal is a quarterly publication dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM, and higher education sectors. Since 1999, Diversity Journal has helped stimulate organizational change by profiling the visionary leadership, innovative programs, and individual commitments that make it happen.
No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. A description of the selection process methodology for the awards referenced is available at gibbonslaw.com/awards/.