Nimesh M. Patel is Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s chief diversity and inclusion officer. In this role, he works closely with the firm’s chairperson and is responsible for leading the diversity and inclusion strategy and initiatives, ensuring that the firm’s core principles of inclusiveness and diversity are reflected across its internal and external policies, work and practices.Having worked in both the private sector and the federal government, Mr. Patel has nearly 25 years of experience advancing diversity and inclusion issues.
Prior to joining Akin Gump, he served as a director of diversity and inclusion at a prominent global law firm, where he worked with the firm’s management and diversity committees to develop and execute the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy, including the recruitment, professional development and advancement of diverse attorneys, as well as the creation of a number of diversity-related programs and initiatives.He also served as the executive director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with 230,000 employees worldwide.
In that role, he designed and executed the department’s first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, ensuring alignment with DHS’s missions, goals and objectives. He also developed performance metrics to evaluate progress, and he engaged internal and external stakeholders to communicate progress.Mr. Patel’s prior work experience also includes being an associate in the labor and employment practice at two large international law firms, with a specialty in corporate diversity counseling.
He also served as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and as Assistant General Counsel at DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Prisons.Mr. Patel is a past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), as well as the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC area, and he currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and the NAPABA Law Foundation.
Mr. Patel is also a former Vice Chair of the DC Commission on Human Rights.Mr. Patel received his J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his B.S. from Michigan State University.
- J.D., The Ohio State University College of Law
- M.B.A., The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- B.S., Michigan State University
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