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Elisa D. Garcia C. '85, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Office Depot, Inc., to Speak at Law School's 2014 Commencement Exercises

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dean Michael A. Simons is pleased to announce that Elisa D. Garcia C. ‘85, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Office Depot, Inc., will be the Law School’s commencement speaker on Sunday, June 1, 2014.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our graduates and the entire St. John’s Law community to hear from an exceptional alumna," said Dean Simons. "Ms. Garcia epitomizes the smart, forward-thinking corporate leaders that are changing business in America and across the globe for the better. She is a well-known advocate for fixed-fee and alternative-fee agreements with outside counsel, and is a passionate champion of diversity in the corporate and legal worlds."

Ms. Garcia has been Office Depot’s General Counsel since 2007. She manages legal, regulatory, compliance, loss prevention, and government affairs matters for the company worldwide. Recently, she led the team that secured the FTC’s unconditional approval of Office Depot’s merger with OfficeMax. Following the merger, she was named Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the combined company.

Before joining Office Depot, Ms. Garcia held key legal advisory and managerial positions at leading international corporations. She was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Domino’s Pizza, Inc., worked for Philip Morris International as Latin American Regional Counsel, and served as Corporate Counsel for GAF Corp.

A Brooklyn native fluent in English and Spanish, Ms. Garcia grew up believing in the value of education and set ambitious goals for herself. She received a joint BA/MS in Political Science and Management and Policy Sciences from W. Averell Harriman College, State University of New York at Stony Brook. After graduation, she worked as an energy analyst at the Institute for Energy Research, focusing on developing countries. A lifelong interest in politics and her own political aspirations next took Ms. Garcia to St. John’s Law, where her interests turned to corporate and securities law. Following law school, she began her career as a corporate associate at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher in New York.

Today, Ms. Garcia augments her work at the vanguard of corporate America with volunteer service. She is on the boards of the American Arbitration Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, and the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, and is an advisory board member for the Corporate Pro Bono Institute. She recently received the St. John’s Latin American Law Students Association’s inaugural LALSA Alumna/us of the Year Award at a reception at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City.

St. John's Law is proud to welcome Elisa D. Garcia C. home as its 2014 commencement speaker.