Xavier University of Louisiana Welcomes New Member to Board of Trustees

Joseph K. West

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Duane Morris partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Joseph K. West has been elected to the board of trustees of Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the United States. West will serve a three-year term. The Xavier University board of trustees held a new trustee orientation at its meeting from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, to introduce new board members to the university’s mission, as well as faculty and student representatives. The announcement was made in a press release.

West has more than 30 years of experience practicing law, including more than 25 years in litigation, business and advisory roles—both in-house and in law firms. Previously, he served as in-house counsel for Walmart, managing outside legal resources, coordinating more than 600 law firms and overseeing a budget of more than $300 million. Prior to joining Duane Morris, West spent four-plus years focused on diversity and inclusion within the legal profession as president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). He also serves as an appointed member of the ABA Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the body that oversees law school accreditation and bar admissions nationwide.

As Duane Morris’ chief diversity and inclusion officer, a role he has held since 2016, West manages the firm’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion program, speaks widely on diversity and inclusion topics and provides consulting services to help companies create sustainable diversity and inclusion programs and solutions.

West was elected and currently serves on the board of directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He currently serves as a member of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, which oversees the accreditation of the nation’s law schools, and is serving a one-year term as a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Listed in Savoy magazine’s 2018 list of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers, West was awarded the Diversity Collaboration Award in 2016 by the JTB Pipeline Organization, the Beacon Diversity Award in 2014 by the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association, the Louis L. Redding Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 by the Delaware Barristers Association and a 2014 Minority Business Leader Award by the Washington Business Journal.

West is a graduate of Tulane Law School (J.D., 1986), where he is a former adjunct professor of trial advocacy, and Southern University (B.A., 1983).

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