“If you don’t know where you are going, then it doesn’t matter which road you take, you’ll remain lost.” – Veta T. Richardson

Veta T. Richardson is the president and CEO of a global nonprofit professional association of 45,000 lawyers, serving over 10,000 companies across 85 countries. Under Veta’s direction, the organization sets the standard for in-house counsel, representing close to 100 percent of the Fortune 100 and over half of the Global 1000. She is the driving force behind record-breaking growth in all key sectors, including a greater than 50% revenue growth. Veta has experience leading multi-billion-dollar M&A transactions, corporate financings, securities disclosure, and investor communications, as well as corporate governance issues. In addition to the groundbreaking work for the non-profit, Veta has been an adjunct professor at both Georgetown University Law Center and Howard University’s College of Fine Arts. She received a B.S. in Business Management and a J.D. from the University of Maryland.

As a speaker and author, Veta is creating a roadmap for others to hone their potential in business and life. Veta was a nationally recognized thought leader regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal sector, serving as an advisor to three U.S. Presidential Administrations (Clinton, Bush, Obama) and garnering multiple awards for best-in-class programs while she was executive director of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Veta sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of Ethisphere, Inc., a for-profit corporation that advances business integrity, compliance, and ethics as a strategic advantage and annually selects The World’s Most Ethical Companies. She has expertise in the area of corporate governance and is a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors, holds the NACD Certified Directorship Credential, and was named to the prestigious Directorship 100 list four times.

Hers is a story that is still unfolding, but Veta is cementing a legacy of success through commitment to her core values and a drive to inspire others to dream bigger.

20 Questions with
Veta T. Richardson

I would tell my younger self not to be so impatient and in such a hurry to achieve that next milestone. It’s OK to relax and coast every now and then. Don’t be a slave to your “to do” list and take your foot off the gas every now and then. It will be OK.
I hope that we never lose the ability to connect with one another one-on-one and in-person, to take time to give someone a hug of encouragement. The pandemic forced us to be so socially distant and it wasn’t normal.
Chef. Hands down. Can’t cook even to follow the recipe.
Finally lose 20 pounds and keep it off! But I say that a lot. . .
I want to be able to knit really well. It’s such a practical, portable hobby and takes real skill and patience to make something someone might actually wear.
Returning things I buy online too impulsively. I should just quit but the ads are so enticing and I feel convinced whatever it is will be a game changer. Of course, it isn’t!
World history. How did we get to where we are and our path to today’s societies?
Make a big oversized mug of Sumatra blend coffee with a splash of vanilla almond milk creamer and a little Stevia, then open my gratitude journal and write a few passages to reflect on the things that I appreciate in my life. .
I am really fortunate to have been able to travel the world and see so many amazing places. All in all, I’ve visited 50 different countries so far and love to travel. I’ve found going on safari in Africa to be some of the most exciting, humbling, interesting experiences; it is never boring and you never know what you’ll encounter in the bush. But walking the Great Wall of China in the dead of winter with no other people around except my sister and our guide was unforgettable because it stretches for miles. And I have absolutely loved my travels throughout India where the people, food, culture - Bollywood movies, especially - were amazing!
I’m not sure. My mind keeps racing to the trends I hope I don’t ever see again. Like certain hairstyles - jheri curls and mullets. Pet rocks which were such a ridiculous thing to purchase. No more pantyhose
It wasn’t the place, it was the people and my late mother was the center of it. I love her dearly and miss her all the time. I wonder what she would think about seeing me become a published author. I really wish I could hug her as it’s the type of accomplishment you just want to share with your Mom.
I am really good at untying and unravelling big, tangled messes of wires or string or chord. And I am probably weird because I enjoy doing it. Requires lots of patience and focus.
I feel like I’m too curious about the places yet to go that I’m not able to have one favorite place but anytime I travel somewhere with a beautiful white sand beach, ocean waves, sunshine and a good book it feels pretty idyllic.
Career advice like finding a new job, getting to that next rung, how to get into law school. I give lots of career advice and am frequently told I’m good at it, which is how I came to write this book to unpack the habits that I recommend be adopted as you pursue your goals.
I am not sure I can come up with just one thing -- how about fall in love, watch a sunrise, write a book, travel someplace unexpected, splurge on something you really cannot afford?
How to navigate life after my mother passed away and she was no longer here to provide a warm hug and encouragement.
That too much dairy can give me sneezing fits. Well I suppose that’s really not very interesting though. Maybe that I enjoy karaoke singing but have a terrible voice.
I am lucky to have travelled throughout the world. I would really love to see Patagonia and Antarctica while the glaciers are still there.
The ability to say no when whatever it is really isn’t right for you, and be able to stick to your guns and not second guess yourself.
I am in the midst of building a cute little home in the Cape Cod area – on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. And I am really looking forward to spending time there because I want my place to be where I invite friends to come up and relax but where we talk and plan and support one another to continue to make a positive impact on the world. So I’ll relax and garden and walk to the beach but in the evening, we’ll enjoy a few drinks, talk about big ideas and how we’ll still make things happen well into retirement.