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WASHINGTON—The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced on September 1st the election of Michael E. Swartz, a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel in New York as its new Board Co-chair, and Naho Kobayashi, a partner at McGuireWoods in Charlotte, North Carolina as the new Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee.

“Michael Swartz exemplifies the best of the private bar. From his skillful stewardship of critical nonprofit governance functions to his visionary work as lead counsel in cutting-edge pro bono civil rights litigation, he is well-primed to take up the mantle of leadership and continue the rich history of prior Co-Chairs of the Lawyers’ Committee,” said Damon Hewitt, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “I also offer my profound thanks to outgoing Co-Chair Joe West, a partner at Duane Morris in Washington, D.C. During his tenure, the Lawyers’ Committee has made significant strides in advancing our mission while modernizing our external engagement strategy and capacity. His invaluable strategic advice and unwavering support have been instrumental in our efforts to bring the ideals of democracy to life for Black people and other communities of color.

“We are also proud to welcome Naho Kobayashi as the new chair of our Audit Committee. Her thoughtful leadership style and solutions-oriented approach will help ensure that our organization continues its strong track record of fiscal responsibility, positioning us to enhance our mission-driven activities while remaining accountable to our supporters,” said Hewitt.

Mr. Swartz will collaborate with current board co-chair Danielle R. Holley in guiding the Board and its Executive Committee to further the organization’s mission. Together, they aim to leverage legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, both within and beyond the courtroom.

Mr. Swartz is a partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel and is co-chair of the Litigation Group, head of the shareholder activism litigation practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He focuses on complex commercial litigation and antitrust, particularly as it relates to mergers and acquisitions. His litigation practice includes shareholder activist litigation, securities litigation, private investment fund disputes, M&A litigation and other corporate control disputes, M&A litigation and other corporate control disputes. For the past several years, he has served as co-lead counsel in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre reparation case.

Ms. Kobayashi is a partner at McGuireWoods. Her practice focuses on complex commercial and banking transactions. She primarily represents lenders and investors in debt financings and related equity investments in connection with acquisition financings for leveraged buy-outs and syndicated and bilateral cash flow and asset-based credit facilities, with an emphasis on transactions involving borrowers in various healthcare industries including but not limited to pharmaceuticals, medical devices and dentist and physician practice management. Prior to being elected Chair of the Audit Committee, she served on that Committee for more than a decade years. As Audit Committee Chair, Ms. Kobayashi will also have a role on the Executive Committee of the Board.


About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to mobilize the nation’s leading lawyers as agents for change in the Civil Rights Movement. Today, the Lawyers’ Committee uses legal advocacy to achieve racial justice, fighting inside and outside the courts to ensure that Black people and other people of color have the voice, opportunity, and power to make the promises of our democracy real. For more information, please visit