Vanessa Vaughn West

Vanessa Vaughn West serves as the firm's Chief Culture, Diversity and Engagement Officer. Vanessa brings more than two decades of experience in and a passion for driving cultural change, leading collaborative teams, and engaging diverse stakeholders to work toward genuinely inclusive organizations.

Vanessa leads Lathrop GPM's efforts to cultivate a positive and inclusive work environment that fosters professional growth, career development and employee engagement, a core firm strategic priority. She also leads the firm's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy, including our commitment to the Mansfield Rule 6.0 certification, which requires at least 30% of historically underrepresented lawyers to be considered for leadership roles and equity partnerships.

Since joining Lathrop GPM, Vanessa has led the firm's efforts to create new and elevate existing programs designed to build a culture of belonging and inclusion. This includes enhancing the firm's fellowship and scholarship programs, building multifaceted firmwide educational programs, and providing new opportunities for professional and personal development for underrepresented talent. She also serves on our Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which works toward long-range diversity goals, with an emphasis on elevating firm-wide cultural competency, increasing opportunities for underrepresented attorneys and staff, and growing implicit bias understanding.

Outside of work, Vanessa enjoys globetrotting adventures, championing community causes, and cherishes quality time with her family.


  • Moderator, "Third Quarter: DEI Roundtable," 2023 State of Litigation: Draft Edition, April 12, 2023

Professional Affiliations

  • Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP), Member
  • Diversity and Inclusion Consortium, Leadership Team
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA), Member
    • Diversity Collaborative, Member
    • Heartland Diversity Legal Job Fair Planning Committee, Member
  • Mizzou Alumni Association, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair
  • Starlight Theater, IDEA Committee Chair
  • Twin Cities Diversity In Practice (TCDIP), Professional Development and Diversity Committees


  • KCMBA, "President's Award," 2023
  • Suburban Balance, "Lift Her Up Award," 2020
  • City of Olathe Human Relations Commission, 2018
Photo of Vanessa  Vaughn West


University of Missouri-Columbia, B.A., Communications

University of Navarra Spain, Diploma de Negocios