Nolan Atkinson, Jr.
BREAKOUT SESSION: BENCHMARKING BEST PRACTICES: DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN HOSPITALITY
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Office of Mayor James Kenney, City of Philadelphia
Nolan N. Atkinson, Jr. is the City of Philadelphia’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. In this role, Atkinson is tasked with overseeing the development and implementation of goals and initiatives to ensure that all of Philadelphia's diverse citizenry are given the opportunity to participate in all aspects of employment, business, and service.
Prior to his appointment to the Cabinet of Mayor James F. Kenney, Atkinson spent almost 25 years as a partner at Duane Morris, a preeminent Philadelphia-based law firm. As a member of the Trial Practice group, Atkinson represented clients in both state and federal court on a wide variety of commercial and personal injury matters. During his time at Duane Morris, he was named a Super Lawyer by Philadelphia Magazine on several occasions. In 2013, The Legal Intelligencer honored Atkinson with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his "distinct impact" on the legal profession.
Throughout his career, Atkinson has been at the forefront of promoting diversity and inclusion within the legal community. In 2007, he was named the first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Duane Morris, and created the firm's annual Diversity and Inclusion retreat and the George B. Vashon Lecture Series. Under his direction, Duane Morris received multiple diversity-related accolades, including being given the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Innovator Award.
Atkinson is also a founding member and first chair of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, an organization that has specialized in providing law school students of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity of working in summer fellowships at member firms and legal departments across the region.
Because of his diversity related efforts, Mr. Atkinson received the Diversity Leadership Award from the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and was named as one of the Philadelphia Business Journal's Diverse Attorneys of the Year in 2011.
Atkinson was awarded his bachelor's degree from Boston University in 1964, and subsequently earned his law degree from Howard University in 1967 and LLM from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970.