Vanita M. Banks, Allstate Insurance Company
Vanita Banks is Corporate Counsel with Allstate Insurance Company where she is a member of the Government Relations Public Policy Development Division.
Vanita is the lead Public Policy attorney for safe driving initiatives, Medicare secondary payer reform, privacy, cybersecurity and civil justice/tort reform initiatives.
She leads industry coalition efforts to ensure broad support and advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues.
She also specializes in complex insurance, employment and class action litigation.
She has extensive experience in labor and employment law, including employee and independent contractor matters and development of corporate policy for electronic communications and commerce, OSHA and corporate compliance matters.
She is an Adviser to the American Law Institute (ALI) Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance project.
Vanita is Past President of the National Bar Association.
She served as the 65th President of the National Bar Association (NBA), the oldest and largest national association of predominately African American lawyers and judges.
Vanita served as the Chief Executive Officer and spokesperson for the NBA which is the voice of over 45,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.
is only the second female attorney from corporate America to be elected as NBA President, and was the 9th female since the organization was founded in 1925.
Under the theme, "Carrying the Torch: Power Through Collaboration", Vanita
worked with the leadership of government, private and public organizations interested in leveraging their efforts toward making a positive difference in the African American community.
Shortly after taking office, Vanita
led meetings with White House Counsel to advocate for diverse judicial candidates and equal justice for the Jena 6.
Vanita met with the Louisiana Attorney General, other state officials and civic organization leaders in Louisiana to develop solutions to the problem of youth incarceration.
hosted the NBA's inaugural reception during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation annual Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, attended by over 1000 guests.
led the NBA's response at the ABA conference held in Los Angeles, one of the most important debates on the House of Delegates floor in recent history.
On the corporate diversity front, Vanita
advocated for increased access to corporate business by diverse attorneys and firms, and the NBA
issued its first diversity Scorecard to the largest 27 law firms in Illinois.
term, the National Bar Association
convened its annual International Affiliate Conference in Toronto and Cuba.
Commencing in Toronto, this historic meeting hosted by The Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
, an NBA international affiliate, focused on strategies to increase diversity in the legal profession, expand the pipeline of attorneys of color into the profession, and to ensure opportunity for their success.
From Toronto, Vanita
led a delegation of 60 lawyers, judges and law professors to Havana and Trinidad, Cuba on a humanitarian mission to promote civil society, and to build bridges of cooperation and professional affiliation.
Vanita earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Juris Doctor from Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Indiana, and L.L.M. in Taxation from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, Illinois.
Vanita is a Fellow of the Life Management Institute, (FLMI) and is a graduate of Menttium, a national corporate mentoring and development program for high performing female professionals.
is a frequent participant on national and international professional panels regarding her
practice areas and diversity.
In May, 2011, she
delivered the Valparaiso University College of Law class commencement address, and in June, 2009, she
delivered the Southern Illinois University Law School class commencement address.
In 2006, Vanita
was designated a Purdue University
She is a member of the American Bar Association and North Shore Labor Counsel.
civic and community involvement also include memberships in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated
and The Links, Incorporated
, national service organizations.
She serves on the Board of Directors of The Black Women's Agenda, Josephson Institute of Ethics, and The Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO).
has received numerous awards including the Women Making History Award
from the National Council of Negro Women
, Chicago-Midwest Chapter, the National Bar Association
Executive Director Award, the CLEO Legacy Diversity Award, and Ebony Magazine Who's Who Among Organization Leaders.
is the 2012 recipient of the National Bar Association
Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award, and the 2014 recipient of the Gertrude E. Rush Award.