Northwestern Pritzker Law Alumni ACTION Committee

We are an action committee composed of invested alumni assembled to help increase Accountability, Cultural Competency, Transparency, Inclusion, and Openness at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. We will do this through the study and documentation of existing barriers to the law school’s full realization of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals and commitments. We will help the law school acknowledge and address where it is with respect to its goal of ensuring it is a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all marginalized communities, with a particular focus on achieving racial equity. We will give a voice to those in our community who have been harmed or who have otherwise felt underserved by the current state of the law school, most importantly present and recent students. We aim to make pragmatic, actionable recommendations rooted in institutional data and the experiences of community members that reflect the on-the-ground realities of the gaps between where the law school is and where it should be. As part of our process, we will incorporate the perspectives and experiences of various constituent groups in the law school community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

- Northwestern Law Alumni ACTION Committee

Courtney Armstrong

Courtney Armstrong

Courtney D. Armstrong has served as the executive vice president of Worldwide Business Affairs at Warner Bros. Pictures since April 2014. He first joined the studio in 2003 as a director of Business Affairs, and was soon promoted to vice president in 2004, and senior vice president in 2007.

Prior to joining Warner Bros., Armstrong spent three years at Walt Disney Pictures as an attorney in the Business and Legal Affairs department of the Motion Picture Group. He began his career as a litigation associate on the entertainment litigation team at the Los Angeles-based law firm Paul Hastings, LLP.

Armstrong has a long history with Northwestern. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University, a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. In 2018, the Northwestern University Alumni Association awarded Armstrong the Northwestern Alumni Medal. The next year, he was asked to deliver the main convocation address to the Law School’s Class of 2019. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Armstrong serves on the boards of Northwestern University (2019) and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (2007). Armstrong is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council (2015), and a member of the Executive Branch with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (2016).

Liani Balasuriya

Liani Balasuriya

Liani Balasuriya is a law clerk in the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois. Prior to her work in court, she worked as an associate at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

She received her JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 2017. Before her time in law school, she worked as a Scheduler for Governor, now Senator, Maggie Hassan and as a field director for a non-profit in Washington D.C.

Jared Bartie

Jared Bartie

Jared Bartie is a nationally recognized sports attorney and partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He is the firm’s co-chair of Sports Industry Group, partner co-head of Diversity and Inclusion, and co-hiring partner of the New York office. His career encompasses both legal and business professional sports, and entertainment experience.

Prior to his work at O’Melveny, he has served as chief legal officer and general counsel of the United States Tennis Association (USTA); general counsel and chief administrative officer of the NBA Charlotte Bobcats; an executive in the National Basketball Association’s renowned Team Marketing and Business Operations group; acting chief counsel of productions at Black Entertainment Television; and general counsel of Maxim magazine.

Bartie earned a BA from American University in Washington, DC, and his JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He is also a founding member of the African American History and Culture Endowed Scholarship at the Law School. In 2017, Jared was named a presidential appointee to the Executive Committee of the USTA and currently serves on the March of Dimes Sports Luncheon Committee.

Sharon Bowen

Sharon Bowen

Sharon Bowen currently serves on the board of the Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) and certain of its affiliates, as well as on the board of Neuberger Berman. She was the first African American to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Obama to be a Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2014, serving a five-year term.

Prior to her role at the CFTC, Commissioner Bowen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Obama to serve as vice chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporations, where she also served as acting chair.  Before her work in the Obama administration, Commissioner Bowen had a renowned three-decade career in corporate and transactional law as an associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell and later as an associate and partner at Latham & Watkins.

Bowen holds a BA in Economics from the University of Virginia, and a JD-MBA from Northwestern University.  She has served as a former executive committee member and chair of the Law School board and delivered the main convocation address to the Law School class of 2018. She is the recipient of numerous awards, a trailblazer for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and has held leadership roles in numerous nonprofit organizations, including the board and emeritus board (as former chair) of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Inc, the boards of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning (PENCIL).

Brian Cox

Brian Cox

Brian Cox currently works in the Appellate Division of Colorado's Office of the State Public Defender, where they represent indigent criminal defendants in the state's appellate courts.

Prior to their work in law, Brian held a brief career in the insurance industry. They received their honors degree in Equity Studies and Political Science from the University of Toronto, and JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. During their time at the law school, Brian served on the boards of the Student Bar Association, Diversity Coalition, OUTLaw, and the Journal of Law and Social Policy, and also volunteered as a peer mentor for the Public Interest Law Group.

Sara Hays

Sara Hays

Sara Hays serves as an independent director of ECI US Holdings, a multi-family developer/operator with properties throughout the Southeast; and Draper & Kramer, a vertically-integrated real estate and financial services company. She is a legal and corporate governance expert with executive leadership experience in the commercial real estate, finance, and hospitality industries and has over 30 years of board experience spanning public, private, family, and non-profit organizations in a variety of leadership, advisory, and committee roles.  

Prior to her work at ECI US Holdings, Hays has served as general counsel, corporate secretary and COO over the course of her career (Hyatt Hotels, Wrightwood Capital). She recently retired from the board of Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOG) where she served as an independent director for over 14 years. 

Hays holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (where she is the immediate past president and member of the Law Board) and a BA in History from Carleton College (where she previously served as a trustee).

Harsha Marti

Harsha Marti

Harsha G. Marti joined Warburg Pincus, based in New York, in 2007 and is responsible for legal matters related to the firm’s investing activities. He is also responsible for coordinating legal and regulatory activities related to the formation of funds managed by the firm.

Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Marti was at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York where he was an attorney focused on private-equity transactions.

Marti received a SB in Materials Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a JD-MBA from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the Kellogg School of Management. He is a member of the bar in New York, a member of the Law Board of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

Wesley Morrisette

Wesley Morrissette

Wesley is a 2014 graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. He is currently a partner at Bartlit Beck LLP.  He joined Bartlit Beck in 2015 after clerking on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Wesley received his BA and MBA from Florida A&M University.   

While at Northwestern Law, Wesley served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Law and Social Policy, president of the Black Law Students Association, a Black Student Initiative fellow and representative, and worked as part of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth. As an alum of the Law School, Wesley previously served as board co-chair for the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Black Law Alumni Association, and is a founding donor for Northwestern Pritzker School of Law's African American History and Culture Endowed Scholarship.  Wesley also serves as treasurer on the associate board of the Just the Beginning Foundation - A Pipeline Organization.

Destiny Peery

Destiny Peery

Destiny Peery is a social psychologist and legal scholar who specializes in the study of identity, bias and discrimination, diversity, equity and inclusion, including their intersections with the law and in spaces within the legal profession.

During her career, Peery has taught at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Duke University School of Law. She has extensive experience facilitating workshops on cognitive and implicit biases and diversity and inclusion-related topics across the legal profession and other professional communities. Destiny has served as a primary investigator for research on diversity in the legal profession for the American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL).

Peery received a PhD in social psychology from Northwestern University, and a JD from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Karen Villagomez

Karen Villagomez

Karen Villagomez is currently an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago Law Department. She is a 2018 graduate of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Villagomez, along with one of her classmates, was the first DACAmented graduate of the Law School.

During law school she was a board member of the Latinx Law Students Association and a member of Street Law and the Visibility Initiative. Villagomez envisions the Law School as a place where students from all walks of life feel a true sense of belonging so that they can bring their full selves to the work that lies ahead.

Prior to her time at law school, she worked for an immigration law firm as a paralegal. She was also an intern for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.