Schulte Roth & Zabel (SRZ) is pleased to announce the addition of Rachel V. Simmonds-Watson as its Director of Diversity & Inclusion, resident in the firm’s New York office. She joins the firm from Debevoise & Plimpton, where she served as Diversity Manager for more than 10 years.
Ms. Simmonds-Watson has more than 10 years of experience developing and implementing diversity and inclusion programming in law firms. In her new role at SRZ, she will oversee the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and policies. Ms. Simmonds-Watson will work closely with the firm’s Executive Committee, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee, Affinity Groups and Professional Development and Recruiting Departments.
“We are delighted to have Rachel join us. She is a leader in the field of diversity and inclusion, and a stalwart advocate of equality in the workplace,” commented Taleah Jennings, SRZ litigation partner and co-chair of SRZ’s D&I Committee. “We are excited to have Rachel’s experience and expertise at SRZ. We have been increasing the quality and breadth of our D&I programming in recent years, and we look forward to Rachel helping us do even better,” added David Nissenbaum, SRZ investment management partner and co-chair of SRZ’s D&I Committee. The D&I Committee guides diversity and inclusion efforts in all areas of the firm, from recruitment and professional development to promotion and leadership.
“Rachel is a proven leader who has demonstrated a deep commitment to improving diversity and inclusion in the legal industry. We are very pleased to have her lead the firm’s efforts in this critical work,” commented Alan Waldenberg, chair of SRZ’s Executive Committee.
“I am thrilled to be at Schulte, where I see great momentum and an energetic commitment to improving the experiences of all lawyers and business staff. I look forward to working together with the firm leadership to make a real and lasting impact on this community and beyond,” said Ms. Simmonds-Watson. She holds a B.A. in international studies from the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, where she was a Founder’s Day Scholar. Ms. Simmonds-Watson is a member of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals, where she has held various leadership positions. She is also a member and former vice chair of the Diversity Section of the National Association for Legal Career Professionals.