Press Release

Cooley Welcomes New Chief Diversity Officer Kelly Batts

October 10, 2023

Palo Alto – October 10, 2023 – Cooley announced today that Kelly Batts has joined the firm as chief diversity officer based in New York. He joins from Deloitte, where he was a managing director focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy and workforce transformation across a range of industries.

“Kelly is a passionate, seasoned and ambitious DEI leader, and we are thrilled he has joined our firm,” said Joe Conroy, chairman and CEO of Cooley. “Kelly’s experience helping organizations and executives design and implement major DEI initiatives will be a tremendous benefit to our people and our clients as we strengthen Cooley’s long-standing DEI leadership position in the legal community and beyond.”   

Batts will work closely with Cooley’s board, DEI Advisory Council, diversity committee, diversity, equity & inclusion team and firm leadership to develop and implement strategic DEI objectives. He will be Cooley’s first chief diversity officer.

Rama Padmanabhan, partner, chair of Cooley’s diversity committee and member of the DEI Advisory Council, added, “Diversity is embedded in Cooley’s culture, and I am extremely proud that we continue to make meaningful strides toward achieving our ambitious representation goals. Kelly is an impactful DEI leader, and his arrival will help us continue to build a truly diverse workplace and environment that enables all our people to thrive.”

“I am incredibly excited to be joining a firm like Cooley, which has diversity and inclusion at its core. I look forward to advancing the firm’s DEI mission and goals and to bringing impactful change to the industries and communities we serve,” Batts said.

At Deloitte, Batts led a practice of 70 personnel in the delivery of DEI strategy, analytics and learning solutions to clients across federal, state and local governments, as well as higher education. He also has experience implementing DEI programs and workforce solutions in the financial services, healthcare, defense/national security and professional services sectors. Through his consulting engagements, Batts has worked with the most senior DEI executives and stakeholders across the DEI continuum. He also served as executive sponsor for Deloitte’s Black and allies employee resource group and as a campus inclusion recruiting leader.

Cooley is dedicated to maintaining a workplace that values and celebrates differences. This commitment includes active and creative partnerships with clients and local and national law organizations that support people from underrepresented backgrounds, diversity pipeline projects, law school diversity programs and community outreach. Cooley is widely recognized for its DEI efforts by leading industry organizations and publications – including earning a six-time perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, being named 12 times on Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother’s) Best Law Firms for Women list, now known as the Best Law Firms for Women and Diversity list, and consistently reaching Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule Certification Plus status.

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