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Meet the OGCs: Anita Drummond

Meet the OGCs: Anita Drummond

Anita Drummond has spent the bulk of her legal career serving as corporate counsel within global nonprofit organizations, developing a strong fluency for the language of business as a result. “Because the heart of my experience has been in-house, I’m able to understand what drives other internal stakeholders – like finance, product and service development, government relations, fundraising, technology, and marketing – and deliver counsel that effectively moves the needle for leadership,” explains Anita. She brings this high-value counsel to all of her OGC clients, whether an entrepreneurial business, a tax-exempt organization, a large complex company, or a social impact enterprise.

Being the “go-to” person for mission-driven organizations is an incredibly satisfying experience for Anita. Over the course of her 20+ year career, she has played a key role in large scale efforts to improve the lives of people living with cancer (American Cancer Society), conserve valuable land and water resources (The Nature Conservancy); and help disadvantaged children across the world reach their fullest potential (ChildFund International). “I didn’t want to go to court,” says Anita, “I wanted to build visions, prevent problems, and help businesses clear pathways forward.” It is with this sense of purpose that Anita approaches her role as a legal business partner and her work, be it providing well-structured governance, sharing common-sense approaches to challenges, or building the legal framework to deliver on her client’s aspirational ideas, like new programs, services, or geographic expansion.

Anita has contributed to many interesting projects as in-house counsel, but the most memorable one would have to be the work she did creating a water fund with private equity funding that would allow a conservation organization to purchase water rights. This effort brought together stakeholders with disparate interests, including farmers, national government, conservationists, indigenous people, and private funders, and required them to work collaboratively to find the right financing model – one that would serve a variety of interests while assuring the agricultural landowners’ access to water resources and preservation of natural resources long term. As Anita puts it, “business decisions that take into account various perspectives in service to the greater good— that is the best kind of work for me.”

As an OGC, Anita works with a diverse client portfolio, handling a broad array of corporate and commercial matters, such as complex transactions, compliance and risk management, and board governance and support. She is also well-versed in public policy, having drafted policy of all types, as well as managed state ballot measure compliance and lobbying compliance at the federal and state levels, for over two decades. Anita also offers in-house counsel mentoring and assessments for her clients. Recently, she was asked to help an organization’s legal department get back on track with its internal clients. “I did a wall-to-wall review, interviewing members of the legal team, as well as their clients in various departments,” notes Anita. “Everyone’s intentions were good, yet stress for performance was high.” Having lived with those same struggles inside an organization, Anita was able to offer specific recommendations on resources and training that could help restore trust. “And I didn’t break the bank, because I didn’t have to learn the ropes or reinvent the wheel,” emphasized Anita. By leveraging her past experience to inform her advice, Anita’s client received better results, an outcome that exemplifies the OGC approach.

More about Anita Drummond
In addition to her practice, Anita co-writes the Nonprofit Knowledge column for the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Docket and contributes to the firm’s blog. She’s an active leader in the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference and conducts recruitment for the local high school’s pre-law moot court efforts. Anita also is a performer and volunteer with an improv theater and an avid hiker, regularly visiting the nearby Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. Anita and her husband, Robert, have a son studying to be an archeologist.

This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances not an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

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