Kenneth Sharperson Joins Armstrong Teasdale as Chief Diversity Officer
Armstrong Teasdale announces the addition of Kenneth E. Sharperson as Chief Diversity Officer.
Based in the firm’s New York office, Sharperson leads the execution of the firm’s strategy on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), as well as ongoing and new initiatives to build and sustain a culture of inclusion and belonging. He collaborates with firm leaders to embed a diverse and inclusive culture into the firm’s talent practices, business strategy, drive inclusion programming and initiatives, and support various affinity organizations firmwide and in the communities where we work and live.
“Ken’s knowledge and experience will enhance Armstrong Teasdale’s DEI efforts considerably,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Julie G. Paul. “I look forward to collaborating with him on initiatives to continue building on our track record of success in this area.”
Sharperson has extensive experience developing and implementing DEI programs in the public, nonprofit and legal sectors, including six years of service leading the Diversity Committee of a state bar association and also serving as Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at a New Jersey law firm. In his role at Armstrong Teasdale, Sharperson will be involved in cultivating key internal and external partnerships to drive strategic diversity and inclusion marketing, as well as business development strategies.
The firm has always been on the forefront of advancing its diverse lawyers and women to its highest leadership ranks. “Armstrong Teasdale’s legacy of being a diversity leader is impressive,” said Sharperson. “In the 1930s, the firm hired its first woman as a lawyer, Hazel Roos; hired its first African American lawyer, Steven Cousins, in 1980, who later was elected to the firm’s Executive Committee; and elected its first female, Judge Catherine D. Perry, to partnership in 1987. It speaks volumes of the firm’s culture, and I look forward to continuing to build on that rich history, ensuring a sense of inclusion and belonging for all lawyers and staff.”
Sharperson has been a champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession for over 20 years and is a sought-after speaker and frequently called upon to discuss a host of DEI topics, including managing risks around diversity and inclusion efforts at law firms, building and sustaining inclusive workplaces and increasing a law firm’s financial outlook through DEI.
As a practicing lawyer, Sharperson brings unique perspective to the role, as well as a deep understanding of client needs and expectations, and the challenges facing the legal industry. He previously served as counsel to clients across the country in insurance coverage and commercial litigation.