Laureen E. Seeger
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
American Express Company
Laureen E. Seeger is American Express Company’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to becoming American Express’ GC in 2014, Seeger served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of McKesson Corporation.
American Express developed a formal pro bono program for its legal department staff in 2002. The department sought to formalize a program in order to expand the pro bono efforts of American Express’ attorneys and staff and to support the company’s overall corporate social responsibility efforts. Today, members of the American Express General Counsel’s Organization provide pro bono legal services domestically and internationally on a broad array of topics.
“American Express is guided by a deep set of values, starting with a fundamental commitment to making a positive difference in people’s lives through its products and services. This commitment extends to our community service efforts in the many communities in which we live and work,” said Seeger of American Express’ employee volunteerism programs.
American Express’ global legal team believes that nonprofits are an essential element for affecting positive change in underserved communities. For over a decade, volunteers from American Express have worked with Lawyers Alliance of New York to provide pro bono services to various nonprofits. American Express holds clinics in cooperation with Lawyers Alliance of New York to work with nonprofits that benefit children, families, artists, immigrants, and low-income individuals living in New York. American Express also works regularly and extensively with several other nonprofits in the NY metropolitan area, including Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Voices of September 11, Pro Bono Partnership and Kids in Need of Legal Defense (KIND).
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Tony West is General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs of PepsiCo, Inc. (PepsiCo). West leads the company’s global legal, compliance and ethics, government affairs, and public policy functions.
As PepsiCo’s chief global legal officer, West has emphasized the importance of in-house counsel performing as supportive business partners while maintaining a values-based, ethical corporate culture. Under his leadership, PepsiCo has reaffirmed its reputation for high business integrity, receiving the Corporate Leadership Award from Transparency International-USA and frequently has been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.
West has more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining PepsiCo, West was the Associate Attorney General of the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice’s third ranking official, where he led the Justice Department’s efforts to protect Americans’ civil rights; assist homeowners who suffered losses during the 2008 financial crisis; strengthen the federal relationship with sovereign Native American nations; and secure access to criminal and civil legal aid regardless of income.
As a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory, PepsiCo supports a culture of giving back. Since 2016, over 25% of PepsiCo’s New York-based attorneys participated in one or more pro bono projects, providing more than 250 hours of service. This year, PepsiCo is well on its way to nearly doubling both participation and hours of service. West elaborates, saying, “At PepsiCo, we believe companies must do three things exceedingly well: deliver strong performance; deliver it in a way that is sustainable over time; and deliver it in a way that is responsible and responsive to the needs of society. PepsiCo embraces volunteerism, providing a range of volunteer opportunities for our employees and celebrates the meaningful difference PepsiCo employees make in the diverse communities we all share.”
At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our fundamental belief that the success of the company is inextricably linked to the sustainability of the world around us. These pro bono initiatives enable PepsiCo to do well by doing good.
David A. Zapolsky
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
David Zapolsky is Amazon’s Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary. Before becoming Amazon’s General Counsel in 2012, Zapolsky served 13 years as Associate General Counsel, leading Amazon’s Litigation and Regulatory group and advising on a wide variety of litigation, privacy, consumer protection, competition law, securities regulation, intellectual property, and labor and employment matters.
Zapolsky founded the Amazon Legal Department’s pro bono program, known as the Amazon Justice League, in 2014 and signed onto the CPBO Challenge® initiative in 2016. The legal department partners with law firms and nonprofits around the world to address a wide range of issues such as representing refugees in immigration matters to drafting wills for first responders and their families. “Providing legal services to those unable to pay is not just an ethical obligation for attorneys – it gives the entire Amazon global legal team an opportunity to serve and learn about our community, and by extension our customers, in new and meaningful ways,” said Zapolsky about Amazon’s pro bono program. Examples of just a few of Amazon’s current projects include: