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: FADIPL@DiversityInIPLaw.org
Bill LaFuze, Chief Program Officer
The Foundation’s 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.
The work of the Scholar Program Committees is coordinated by the Foundation’s Chief Program Officer. Bill LaFuze currently serves in this role for the Foundation.
Scholar Recruitment Committee
Justine Gozzi and Tiffany Johnson, Co-Chairs
The Foundation has committed itself to assisting STEM-educated individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, 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
Lisa Dunner and Jens Jenkins, Co-Chairs
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, Chair
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
Ahmed Davis and Natalie Gonzales, Co-Chairs
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
Annette Kwok, Chair
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 Administrative Committees
The Foundation maintains three committees that offer administrative support for the programming of the Foundation.
Strategic Planning Committee
Tonya Combs, Chair
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
Ha Kung Wong, Chair
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
Ann Mueting, 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.
Bob Armitage, Chair
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
Robert DeBerardine, Chair
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.
Terry Rea, Chair
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.