Media Release


Eve Runyon Named President and CEO of Pro Bono Institute

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Board of Directors of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) is pleased to announce that Eve Runyon, Director of Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), has been named the organization’s new President and CEO. Runyon succeeds Esther Lardent, who founded PBI and held the roles of President and CEO for 19 years before stepping down for health reasons in 2015.

Runyon joined PBI in 2005 to lead CPBO, PBI’s partnership project with the Association of Corporate Counsel. Under Runyon’s leadership, CPBO designed and implemented innovative initiatives to expand the commitment to pro bono across in-house law departments, including the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative, the only industry-wide standard for in-house pro bono, which enables legal departments to identify, benchmark, and communicate their support for pro bono service. Currently, there are 145 Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatories.

Runyon is a national expert on the practice rules that impact non-locally licensed in-house attorneys’ ability to provide pro bono services, having served on the Advisory Committee on Pro Bono Service by In-House Counsel in New York State and spoken on the topic at numerous access to justice summits as well as before the Conference of Chief Justices and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Recently, she has been instrumental in the launch and progress of the PBI Collaborative Justice ProjectTM in Minnesota. This pilot program unites more than 50 leaders from over 30 organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to reduce recidivism among released offenders in the region.

Runyon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor from the Yale School of Law. While at Yale, she served as Director of the Clinic for Persons with Disabilities at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. Following law school, Runyon worked for seven years as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, where she continued her commitment to pro bono services, including serving seven months as a “Skadden Loaned Associate” to the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. She also served for more than six years on the board of the nonprofit organization DC SCORES located in Washington, D.C.

Commenting on the appointment, James W. Jones, Chair of the PBI Board, said, “Eve is an excellent new leader for PBI who will build on the extraordinary foundation, vision, strategy, and team that Esther Lardent so effectively put in place during her time at PBI. Eve brings leadership, passion, innovation, and a deep commitment to pro bono and access to justice.  She has broad knowledge of the challenges and opportunities confronting the pro bono community and has clearly demonstrated her ability to lead PBI in the years ahead. We very much look forward to working with Eve as our new President and CEO.”

“I am excited to have this opportunity to advance the legacy of Esther Lardent to promote and enhance access to justice through pro bono legal services. It has been an honor to support the mission of PBI over the past decade. I am grateful for the commitment of PBI’s friends and supporters, and I look forward to working with our stakeholders to better serve communities in need,” Runyon said.

PBI, established in 1996, is a nonprofit organization that supports, enhances, and transforms the pro bono efforts of major law firms, in-house legal departments, and public interest organizations in the U.S. and around the world through research, consultative services, analysis and assessment, publications, and training. Its mission is to explore and identify new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. PBI was assisted in its search process by LeaderFit.