Shawn Ray White
General Counsel and COO, Family Offices and Family Foundations
Shawn Ray White is an experienced corporate executive with a strong background and proven record of success in both corporate and nonprofit settings. Currently, she utilizes her extensive financial, legal, and business acumen to design, build, and operate family office and family foundation infrastructure for high net worth families particularly those most interested in mission-driven investing and philanthropy. Most recently, her clients included the Smith Family Circle, the family office that manages the assets, business enterprises, and foundations of the Will and Jada Smith family. Previously, she served as a member of the executive team of The Barack Obama Foundation as General Counsel, responsible for the provision of legal services including those related to the Obama Presidential Center and the associated museum and family office matters. Prior to joining the Obama Foundation, Shawn served as General Counsel and a member of the leadership team for the Eli & Edythe Broad family office, The Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation, the Broad Museum, The Broad Center, and The Broad Art Foundation.
Shawn started her career as a financial professional on Wall Street and returned to New York after graduating from law school where she spent many years working in the international mergers and acquisitions practice of an AM100 law firm and a Fortune 100 company, and as Chief Legal Officer to a large private foundation.
Shawn’s accomplishments go beyond her legal acumen and include her work as a champion for social impact investing, leadership development, and DEI. She was recently named to Corporate Counsel Business Journal’s inaugural 2023 List of 50 Women to Watch and awarded the Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Chapter’s 2023 Diversity Counsel of the Year Award, the National Association of Women Lawyers’ Public Service Award, the National Congress of Black Women’s Shirley Chisholm Award, the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division’s Outstanding In-House Counsel Award, the National Bar Association’s Sankofa Award, the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles’ Corporate Excellence Award, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Leadership Award. In 2022, she was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Inspirational Women Awards and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Leadership Award; and in 2023, she was a finalist in the nonprofit executive category.
In addition to being a thought-leader on DEI strategies, she is a frequent speaker on closing the wealth gap, financial literacy, philanthropy, impact investing, and family office matters.
Shawn volunteers and serves on the boards of various nonprofits including serving as General Counsel to ‘Us or Else,’ a national social justice non-profit with deep roots in Atlanta founded by artist and activist Tip Harris and ‘Let Us,’ a Los Angeles-based community organization that strives to alleviate poverty and empower historically under-served communities.
Ms. White holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in Spanish and a concentration in Latin American studies from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a juris doctorate degree from Stanford Law School, Stanford University. She is admitted to practice law in NY and CA.
She currently resides in her hometown of Los Angeles, California.