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Kimya S.P. Johnson

Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer and Principal
Philadelphia

P 267-319-7832 F 215-399-2249

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Kimya S.P. Johnson

Biography

Kimya (Keem-yah) leads Jackson Lewis’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts as the firm’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, in the Philadelphia office. She also provides advice and counsel to clients as a principal in the Corporate Diversity Counseling practice group.

With her career-long passion for and experience in organizational DEI, Kimya leads the implementation of Jackson Lewis’ firm wide DEI efforts in alignment with the firm’s strategic plan and in realization of DEI as a core firm value. Leading a team of fully-dedicated DEI professionals and collaborating with leadership, key stakeholders, multiple departments, and communities across Jackson Lewis’ 63 offices, Kimya works to ensure DEI’s core pillars of focus – culture, colleagues, clients and communities – translate. She seeks to promote the firm’s positive work culture and ensure those who join the firm’s workplace – regardless of background or identity - can be successful and experience inclusion and belonging throughout the arc of their career. 

Kimya has extensive DEI experience, both as an employment attorney and in various diversity and inclusion leadership roles where she led efforts to recruit, develop, retain, promote and advance attorneys with diverse identities and provide training and resource for all committed to advancing fair and inclusive work opportunities.  In her almost 20 years practicing as an employment lawyer, Kimya supports a wide range of employers in developing and implementing strategies to provide legally compliant, impactful, and organizationally integrative DEI action plans that reflect varied DEI assessment, planning, programming, training and learning approaches.  

Kimya often advises and counsels clients on the range of DEI matters impacting their workplaces. Having built and chaired a DEI legal practice of over 30 attorneys, trainers and analysts for a national labor and employment law firm, she is well-practiced in conducting DEI assessments, building organizational DEI structures, creating DEI strategic action plans, understanding demographic data collection issues, DEI program creation and management, and communicating the legal and compliance risks inherent in devising and executing a comprehensive DEI strategy. Kimya is a sought-after speaker and thought leader on a host of subjects involving DEI law and practice.

Kimya has been directly engaged with a host of community, educational, political and social service endeavors. More recently, she served as campaign manager for a candidate for U.S. Congress. Kimya, also known affectionately as “First Lady,” has first-hand experience with non-profit incorporation, management, and governance through, among others, Dare to Imagine, an organization that began in her home in 2014 and has since grown to over 1200 members with a campus in East Mount Airy, Philadelphia. Before practicing law, Kimya was a public elementary school teacher in South Bronx, New York through the Teach for America program where she received the Sallie Mae “Excellence in Teaching” award, and she remains committed to lifelong teaching and learning.

Kimya, a native Californian, lives in Philadelphia where she enjoys spending time with her husband, Kevin, their three children, and their fluffy dog.

Honors and Recognitions

  • Freeman Means Business, “WonderWoman in Business” (2019)
  • NAACP, Philadelphia Chapter, “Influential Woman” (2013)
  • National Diversity Council, “MultiCultural Leadership Award” (2014)
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® , "Rising Stars” (2013)
  • The Legal Intelligencer, "Lawyer on the Fast Track" (2012)

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals
  • Barristers’ Bar Association
  • DEI Advisory Council, Case Western Reserve University School of Law (2020–present)
  • New York Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, Board Member (2012-2018, 2022–present), Executive Committee (2015-2018)

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters Independence Region, Former Board Member (2010-2018)
  • Dare to Imagine Church, Inc., Board Member (2014-present), Vice President (2014-present)
  • Dare to Imagine Community Development Corporation, Board Member (2016-present), Vice President/Educational Programs (2016-present)
  • Friends’ Central School, Former Board Member (2019-2022)
  • Jack & Jill of America, Inc., Philadelphia Chapter, Lead Teen Advisor (2021-present), Chaplain (2018-2020), Parliamentarian (2016-2018)

 

Published Works

  • “Implementing Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives Is Not as Easy as It Seems,” The Legal Intelligencer (November 18, 2018) (Author)
  • “A New Approach to Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives,” The Legal Intelligencer (June 2, 2015) (Author)

Speeches

  • “Creating the Legal Practice that is Perfect for You,” Partner Podcast with Scott Love (February 24, 2020) (Guest)
  • “Sister to Sister Circle,” 52nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association Convention (Philadelphia, PA – February 8, 2020) (Panelist)
  • “Implementing Legally-Compliant Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Practices, Pitfalls, and Opportunities,” 2020 Louisiana Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) D&I Summit, (New Orleans, LA – January 31, 2020) (Panelist)
  • “2019 Roundtable Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion Efforts,” The Legal Intelligencer (October 22, 2019) (Panelist)
  • “A Profile of Kimya Johnson, Esq.,” Wonder Women in Business Podcast with Susan Freeman (October 2, 2019) (Guest)
  • “Facilitating Difficult Conversations around Diversity and Communities,” Coming Together: Pittsburgh Area Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Series (Pittsburgh, PA – September 24, 2019)
  • “Intersectionality: Challenges and Successes of Multicultural Women,” Working Mother Best Law Firms for Women 2019 Career Accelerator Summit (Chicago, IL – September 19, 2019) (Panelist)
  • “Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: Moving Beyond the AAP,” Austin ILG (Austin, TX – September 5, 2019)
  • “In the Workplace with Peter Cappelli and Dan O’Meara,” Wharton Business Radio/Sirius XM (July 25, 2019) (Guest)
  • “Ethics/Elimination of Bias in Legal Departments: Identifying and Addressing Unconscious Bias in Lawyers, Legal Departments and the Larger Workplace,” American Trucking Association (ATA) Litigation Center Trucking Legal Forum (San Diego, CA – July 14, 2019)
  • “Leveraging Inter-Generational Strengths for Legal Practice Excellence,” American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law 2019 Annual Conference (Washington, D.C. – April 12, 2019) (Panelist)
  • “Succeeding in Male Dominant Environments,” Women, Diversity & Change Summit (Philadelphia, PA – March 20, 2019) (Panelist)
  • “Understanding Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives,” Wharton School of Business (Philadelphia, PA – March 18, 2019)
  • “Groom Your Diverse Employees to be Your Next Leaders,” Human Resources Law Update (Greenville, SC – March 1, 2019)
  • “Workplace Diversity & Inclusion: In-House Counsel’s Role in Driving a Successful Initiative,” Association of Corporate Counsel of Greater Philadelphia, Employment and Labor Institute (Philadelphia, PA – February 13, 2019)

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