John is a proven change agent, helping individuals and organizations achieve excellence through his experience as a global law firm leader, diversity professional and executive coach. He serves as Reed Smith’s Chief Diversity Officer, leading Reed Smith’s efforts to sponsor and achieve diversity and inclusion in the legal community. Reed Smith (www.reedsmith.com) is a global law firm with over 3,000 employees in 30 offices around the world. Some of the most notable accomplishments during his tenure as CDO:
• Recognized as one of the top three major law firms to receive the Thomas Sager Award from
the Minority Corporate Counsel Association for diversity & inclusion programming and
• Increased number of women lawyers by 17%; increased number of diverse lawyers by
• Decreased attrition of diverse lawyers from 21% to 12% (2016-2020)
John is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP) from the Institute of Diversity Certification and was recently named one of the Top 50 Chief Diversity Officers in the nation by the National Diversity Council. He is the creator and serves as host of the acclaimed podcast, “Inclusivity Included: Powerful Personal Stories.”
John is the founder of Cumbre Alta Associates (www.CumbreAltaAssociates.com), a consulting firm focused on business and inclusive leadership and diversity coaching for lawyers and business executives. John has achieved Associate Certified Coach (ACC) status from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and received his coaching certification and training from The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). He also has earned iPEC Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) status. His coaching has helped numerous individuals reach their goals and achieve greater awareness.
John previously served as Global Chair of Reed Smith’s Business & Finance Department, overseeing a $400M division of a $1B global law firm. He also served as Chair of the U.S. Corporate & Securities Group and Managing Partner of the Los Angeles office. In 2010, John became the first Asian American to serve on Reed Smith’s Executive Committee and Senior Management Team. He previously served as the Chair of Reed Smith’s Asian American Affinity Group.
John was also recognized as a 2020 TOP50 Diversity Star by Diversity Stars, the “Nation’s Best (Western Region)” by Lawyers of Color (2019) and was one of the inaugural recipients of the “DiversityFIRST™” Award from the California Diversity Council (2019). He was named among the top 500 ”Most Influential People in LA” by the Los Angeles Business Journal (2018) and has been named ”One of the Nation’s Most Influential Minority Attorneys” for two consecutive years (2014-2015). John received the ”Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Asian Business Awards (2016), the “Volunteer of the Year” Award from Ednovate, Inc. (2019), the Leadership Award from the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association (2017) and the President’s Award from the USC Alumni Association (2017).
John currently is the President of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, and previously served as the Chair of the USC Gould School of Law Board of Councilors and as a member of the Board of Directors of the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association. He also serves on the National Board for 50/50 Women on Boards and as a member of the Finance Committee of the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.
He is a frequent speaker and trainer on topics such as diversity and inclusion, leadership and law firm management.