Based in Washington D.C., she will partner with leaders across our firm to deliver on our commitments to DEI and ensure our practice is equitable for all and representative of the diverse communities we serve.
“We are incredibly committed to moving the needle on diversity, equity and inclusion within our firm and across our industry,” said Brad Lukanic, CEO of CannonDesign. “Our firm’s search for a DEI leader focused on finding someone who could create change that would translate to positive actions. This guided our national search for candidates with deep DEI knowledge, and a passion for launching constructive and lasting impacts. Sharla is a forward thinking and inspirational leader who comes to us from outside our industry, bringing a fresh perspective that we believe will not only align with our DEI Framework but propel us forward with clear actions and outcomes.”
Sharla, who has her J.D. from Howard University School of Law, joins us from Cleary Gottlieb where she was the Manager of DEI for the global law firm. A former practicing attorney, her area of expertise is creating strategic, sustainable approaches to DEI that address talent acquisition, professional development and employee retention and engagement. With a Master of Professional Studies degree in HR Management/Diversity & Inclusion from Georgetown University, she brings a proficient understanding of contemporary best practices and the latest research in cultural competency and DEI-related topics.
“CannonDesign is on a powerful DEI journey and I’m so excited to be a part of it,” said Sharla. “I have been incredibly impressed with how honest everyone has been both about their successes and the areas that still need work. My goal is to build on the foundation that has already been started and help the firm take bold and courageous new steps in the DEI space.”
Sharla is the previous Board Secretary of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals. She has shared her expertise at several high-profile venues, including a presentation on implicit bias at the Corporate Counsel Women of Color Conference last year and acting as a development coach for the Black44 Professional Development and Networking Retreat—an affinity group created for former appointees under the Obama administration.
One of Sharla’s primary focus areas is amplifying CannonDesign’s DEI Framework, which outlines our commitments to fostering equity and inclusion within our firm, breaking down barriers for entry into the profession, and providing support to underrepresented communities in the cities where we live and work.