Foundation Committees

To successfully implement its programs and carry forward its mission, the Foundation depends upon the volunteers who serve on its committees.

Our work is dependent upon the active engagement of the volunteers who serve as members of our committees.  These committees serve both to assist in meeting our governance responsibilities and to carry out the programs that advance our mission.

If you are interested in joining one of our committees, please contact us at:

Scholar Program Committees

The Foundation’s scholar program committees were established in 2020 to lead the implementation efforts for the programming of the Foundation.  The work of these committees has been critical to achieving the career preparation and career readiness objectives of the Foundation’s programming.

Scholar Recruitment Committee

Clara Jimenez, Chair

Clara Jimenez

The Foundation has committed itself to assisting diversity-minded STEM-educated individuals, who might become interested in seeking admission to law school, to explore a career in patent law.  Today, the Scholar Recruitment Committee seeks to recruit individuals who might not otherwise have sought a legal education to consider apply to law school.  For the Scholar Program to succeed, the Foundation needs to effectively identify and communicate with potential candidates.  The Scholar Recruitment Committee is charged with making this possible.

Among the activities of the Scholar Recruitment Committee are establishing and maintaining a network of relationships with STEM-focused organizations with diverse memberships, leveraging the existing recruiting efforts by law schools and the Law School Admissions Council to assist the Foundation in identifying candidates for the Scholar Program, and developing promotional materials and a social media presence that can increase awareness of and interest in the Scholar Program among potential applicants.

Scholar Mentoring Committee

Len Jacoby, Chair


Upon entering the Scholar Program, the new Scholar is assigned a mentor.  It is the responsibility of the Mentoring Committee to recruit experienced patent professionals, who are prominent members of the patent law profession, to serve as mentors for Scholars.  The Scholar Mentoring Committee has responsibility for training mentors, establishing expectations for a successful mentoring relationship, assessing the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship, and offering Scholars additional professional development programming.

Scholar Clerkship Committee

Barb Fiacco, Co-Chair

Barbara Fiacco

Mike Binns, Co-Chair

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The Foundation has committed to identifying 1L clerkship opportunities for interested Scholars.  The committee is responsible for establishing relationships with partnering law firms and corporations with an interest in offering clerkship opportunities.

As the number of new Scholars selected each year expands, the Scholar Clerkship Committee has been charged with expanding the network of organizations offering clerkship opportunities to Scholars. Under the Scholar Program, the Foundation subsidizes Scholars who opt for unpaid 1L summer patent law internships.

Scholar Convocation Committee

Elizabeth Dougherty, Co-Chair

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Erika Arner, Co-Chair

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Foundation sponsors a Convocation of Scholars in the Washington, D.C. area each summer for the Scholars who have completed their 1L law school year.  The Scholar Convocation Committee has responsibility for planning the Convocation and its programming.

The Convocation is designed to connect Scholars with leaders in the patent bar, patent jurists, congressional staff with IP responsibilities, and senior administration officials in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Scholar Application Committee

Karen Canady, Chair

Karen Canady

The Scholar Application Committee is responsible for reviewing Scholar applications and making recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees to recognize individuals as Scholars.

Foundation Programming Committee

Shruti Chopra, Chair

Shruti Chopra

This newly found committee's objective is to oversee programs for the Foundation, including regular programming for Sidney B. Williams, Jr. Scholars. The committee will collaborate with other committees, including the Convocation and Mentoring Committees, to coordinate programming needs for the Foundation. The Committee will also consider outreach programming that fosters the mission and vision of the Foundation.

Special Committee on Attainment

Keisha Hylton-Rodic, Chair

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This newly found committee's objective is to provide resources to help bridge the achievement gap for minorities in the IP law profession, including by maintaining a directory of minority-owned solo and small firms and IP law professionals that would be publicly accessible. The Committee would also consider and recommend other opportunities for the Foundation to address ways to bridge the achievement gap and facilitate success for minorities in the profession.

Foundation Administrative Committees

The Foundation maintains three committees that offer administrative support for the programming of the Foundation.

Strategic Planning Committee

Ha Kung Wong, Chair

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The Strategic Planning Committee has responsibility for developing strategic plans for new and enhanced programming of the Foundation.  The committee also undertakes a periodic review of the vision and mission of the Foundation.

Foundation Advancement Committee

Justine Gozzi, Chair and Chief Collaboration Officer

Justine Gozzi

The Foundation Advancement Committee has oversight of—and develops operational plans for—the fundraising activities of the Foundation.  In consultation with the Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee, the committee recommends annual fundraising targets needed to meet the programming needs of the Foundation.

Public Awareness Committee

Tiffany Johnson, Chair


The Public Awareness Committee has oversight of—and develops operational plans for—promoting public awareness of the Foundation’s mission and activities.  The Public Awareness Committee also has oversight of the Foundation’s presence on the Internet and other forms of social media, as well as traditional media.  The committee, together with the Foundation Advancement Committee, provides support for the Partner Liaison Program of the Foundation.

Foundation Governance Committees

The bylaws of the Foundation establish three governance-focused committees.

Executive Committee

Sharon Israel, President

Sharon Israel

The Executive Committee assists the Board of Trustees in the oversight of the Foundation.  The Executive Committee membership includes the officers of the Foundation and non-officer Trustee members.

Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee

Kiera Mathey, Chair

Kiera Mathey

The Investment, Finance, and Audit Committee exercise oversight responsibility for investment of the reserve funds of the Foundation, as well as oversight of the preparation of an annual budget for the Foundation.  The committee also has responsibility for the retention and oversight of the activities of the Foundation’s independent auditor.

Nominating Committee

Keisha Hylton-Rodic, Chair

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The Nominating Committee has responsibility for preparing a slate of Foundation officer and other trustee nominees each year.  The committee also recruits and vets individuals interested in serving as Foundation Trustees.