TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund Co-Founders
CHRISTINA M. TCHEN
Tina Tchen, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, heads Buckley Sandler’s Chicago office, and draws on more than 30 years of experience at the highest levels of private practice and government service. She provides corporations, boards of directors, and individuals with unique litigation, counseling, and crisis management skills.
Over the course of her extensive career, Ms. Tchen has handled complex civil litigation and enforcement matters in both state and federal courts in Illinois and across the country. She has represented major global corporations and their officers and directors in a wide range of matters, including consumer class actions, corporate investigations, government enforcement actions, executive compensation, and breach of contract litigation. Ms. Tchen also has represented public agencies in state and federal class actions, and successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the State of Illinois.
Prior to joining Buckley Sandler, she served as an Assistant to President Obama, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Chief of Staff to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Ms. Tchen spearheads Buckley Sandler’s Workplace Cultural Compliance Practice, counseling companies on issues related to gender inequity, sexual harassment, and lack of diversity in the workplace. She guides companies in approaching cultural compliance issues with the same rigor and vigilance — and the same compliance-management systems and controls — that they devote to other risks. Ms. Tchen’s work in this area includes: · Developing, implementing, and evaluating compliance-management systems (CMS) to address a broad range of issues, including sexual harassment, gender inequity, diversity, and inclusion
Designing, implementing, and evaluating board-level and business-line compliance policies and procedures to drive cultural change across organizations and measure progress
Constructing best practices for corporate diversity and inclusion initiatives, often in collaboration with employment counsel or external consultants
Conducting enterprise-wide compliance risk assessments and gap analyses
Conducting internal investigations in response to internal complaints or external inquires
Ms. Tchen has received many awards in recognition of her work, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the "Women of Achievement" award from the Anti-Defamation League, and was named Chicago Lawyer’s "Person of the Year." She has also been recognized as a Business Leader of Color by Chicago United.
Ms. Tchen serves on numerous strategic advisory boards for organizations, businesses, and nonprofits, including the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, Quantum Leaps, Inc., Civic Nation, the United State of Women, Women in the Service Change Initiative, and Gender Equity is Common Sense.
Roberta (Robbie) Kaplan, the founding partner of Kaplan & Company, LLP, one of a handful of women-led elite litigation boutiques in the country, has been described as a “pressure junkie” and “powerhouse corporate litigator” who “thrives on looking at the big picture.”
In addition to working with clients like Columbia University, Airbnb, Vice Media, and T-Mobile, Robbie represented Edith Windsor in the landmark case of United States v. Windsor, in which the Supreme Court held that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, leading to marriage equality nationwide. Together with Tina Tchen, Robbie helped to launch #TimesUp, a new charitable organization that will provide legal representation to women who have experienced sexual harassment. Robbie currently represents Melanie Kohler, a woman who Hollywood producer, Brett Ratner, sued for defamation. Along with the new non-profit Integrity First for America, Robbie is also suing more than two dozen Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who are responsible for coordinating the violence that took place in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017.
Robbie is the author of “Then Comes Marriage: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA” (W.W. Norton 2015), chosen by the L.A. Times and Ms. Magazine as one of the top 10 books of 2015. Although Robbie has received numerous awards, including the New York Law Journal Lifetime Achievement Award, the Financial Times Legal Innovator of the Year and the Columbia Law School Medal of Excellence, she is probably the most proud of receiving an honorary doctorate of law degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Hilary B. Rosen, is Partner at SKDKnickerbocker and is a well-known strategist who navigates the intersection of communications, media and politics. She brings a wealth of experience to clients needing high-octane assistance in a variety of public affairs challenges such as creating and executing large-scale campaigns, reputation management and crisis communications. SKDKnickerbocker, the leading national communications firm, has a specialized Women’s Advocacy practice led by a powerhouse team of some of the most influential women in strategic communications in the country. SKDK has extensive experience advocating on behalf of women leaders and some of the most high profile causes and issues that matter to women. Whether you're fighting to protect a woman's right to choose, for marriage equality, for education, saving healthcare or to stop the scourge of guns on our streets, SKDK crafts messages, devises winning strategies and deliver award winning creative for issues, candidates and organizations across the county.
Hilary was chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America and served that organization from 1987 to 2003. She is the former Political Director and Editor-at-Large of HuffingtonPost.com and current on-air contributor at CNN. Earlier in her career she worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and New Jersey Gov. Brendan Byrne. Throughout her career, Hilary has regularly been featured on power lists in a variety of sectors, including Entertainment Weekly’s Annual Power List, The Hollywood Reporter’s Power 50 Women and The Washington Post’s Power 20 Women. Hilary’s ability to lead issue campaigns led to a profile in the book “Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power” by noted Wall Street Journal and NY Times reporters Gerald Seib and John Harwood.
Hilary is a founder of Rock the Vote in which mobilizes young people to make their voice hear in the political process. She is also the founder of Business Forward a progressive organization of Fortune 100 companies and small businesses. She currently also serves on several nonprofit boards including the Center for American Progress Action Fund and LPAC. Hilary lives in Washington DC.
Fatima Goss Graves
Ms. Goss Graves, who has served in numerous roles at NWLC for more than a decade, has spent her career fighting to advance opportunities for women and girls. She has a distinguished track record working across a broad set of issues central to women’s lives, including income security, health and reproductive rights, education access, and workplace fairness. Prior to becoming President, Ms. Goss Graves served as the Center’s Senior Vice President for Program, where she led the organization’s broad program agenda to advance progress and eliminate barriers in employment, education, health and reproductive rights and lift women and families out of poverty. Prior to that, as the Center’s Vice President for Education and Employment, she led the Center’s anti-discrimination initiatives, including work to promote equal pay, combat harassment and sexual assault at work and at school, and advance equal access to education programs, with a particular focus on outcomes for women and girls of color. Ms. Goss Graves has authored many articles, including A Victory for Women’s Health Advocates, National Law Journal (2016) and We Must Deal with K-12 Sexual Assault, National Law Journal (2015), and reports, including Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity (2014), Reality Check: Seventeen Million Reasons Low-Wage Workers Need Strong Protections from Harassment (2014), and 50 Years and Counting: The Unfinished Business of Achieving Fair Pay (2013). Ms. Goss Graves received her B.A. from UCLA in 1998 and her J.D. from Yale Law School in 2001. She began her career as a litigator at the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP after clerking for the Honorable Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She currently serves as an advisor on the American Law Institute Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus and was on the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace and a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow. She is widely recognized for her effectiveness in the complex public policy arena at both the state and federal levels, regularly testifies before Congress and federal agencies, and is a frequent speaker at conferences and other public education forums. Ms. Goss Graves appears often in print and on air as a legal expert on issues core to women’s lives, including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR.