A Deeper Dive — On the Sidelines or Taking Sides: Corporations, Elections, Social Responsibility, and Long-Term Impacts on Corporate Governance

22 Min View By: Maritza T. Adonis, Bruce Freed, Jason Kaune

Maritza T. Adonis, Bruce F. Freed, and Jason Kaune delve into the new pressures on corporations to engage with social movements and environmental, social, and governance criteria, extending the discussion of a CLE program at the ABA Business Law Section’s 2022 Hybrid Annual Meeting (now available as on-demand CLE). “Companies today really have to address what they’re associated with through their spending,” Freed said. Their conversation touches on what those counseling corporate leadership need to consider in planning how to address these issues, the role of different stakeholders, and the education and foundational work attorneys can undertake in this space.

Read more about the video’s speakers below:

Maritza T. Adonis

Maritza T. Adonis, J.D., MCIArb, Citizen Diplomat, U.S. Lobbyist, Global Advocate, Diplomacy, Diversity, and Political Thought Leader, International Arbitration Professional, Global Public Policy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Executive serves as Chief Executive Officer of MTA Visions Global CSR & Gov’t Relations firm based in Washington D.C. In this capacity, Maritza curates and provides advisory services on DEI, ESG, global public-private partnerships, and local, state, federal, and international policy, political, and diplomatic lobbying matters on behalf of responsible businesses, nonprofits, trade associations, embassies, local government economic development agencies, and universities while serving as their chief liaison with the U.S. Congress, U.S. federal agencies, and the White House. In a leadership capacity with the ABA, Maritza currently serves as inaugural section DEI Director and founder of the Corporate Social Responsibility Law committee’s Sustainable Global Corporate Activism subcommittee under the Business Law Section and Deputy Policy Officer and Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Interest Network under the International Law Section.

Bruce F. Freed

Bruce F. Freed is president and co-founder of the Center for Political Accountability. Founded in 2003, CPA, an NGO, produces the annual CPA-Zicklin Index that benchmarks the Russell 1000 on their political disclosure and accountability policies and practices and created the CPA-Zicklin Model Code of Conduct for Corporate Political Spending. As a result of CPA’s efforts, political disclosure and accountability is recognized as the norm and companies are reshaping how they engage in political spending. He draws on his long experience in journalism and on Capitol Hill. Bruce co-authored major CPA reports including Collision Course, Conflicted Consequences and Practical Stake.

Jason Kaune

Jason Kaune leads Nielsen Merksamer’s political law section. His practice focuses on government ethics, including the election, lobbying disclosure, conflict of interest, gift and gratuity, and campaign finance laws of federal, state and local governments. As a recognized expert on corporate political compliance, his clients include the nation’s largest technology, pharmaceutical, energy, telecommunications, media, publishing, investment and consumer product companies. He serves as the incoming chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Election Law and lectures widely on the intersection of the public and private sectors, including as co-chair of the annual PLI Corporate Political Activities conference in Washington D.C.

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