Lathrop GPM Promotes Vanessa Vaughn West to Chief Culture, Diversity and Engagement Officer


KANSAS CITY (March 25, 2024) Lathrop GPM LLP is proud to announce that Vanessa Vaughn West has been promoted to Chief Culture, Diversity and Engagement Officer. In her expanded role, Vaughn West will take on leadership of the firm's efforts to cultivate a positive and inclusive work environment that fosters professional growth, career development and engagement, to maximize firmwide retention and satisfaction, fostering Lathrop GPM's reputation as a great place to work. She will also continue to lead the firm's DEI strategy.

Vaughn West leads the firm's 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. She serves on the firm's 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.

"We are thrilled to have Vanessa serve as Lathrop GPM's Chief Culture, Diversity and Engagement Officer," said Courtney Landon, Chief Operating Officer. "We've created this new role to underscore our commitment to cultivating a workplace where everyone feels valued, respected and empowered to contribute to the firm's continued growth and success. Vanessa is the perfect person to step into this role."

Vaughn West 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. Since joining Lathrop GPM nearly five years ago, she's led 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. Vaughn West also leads the firm's Mansfield Rule participation.

An active community volunteer, West currently serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Missouri Alumni Association. She is also a board member for Starlight Theater, United Community Services of Johnson County, the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Public Arts Committee, and the Lenexa Police Department's Community Advisory Board. She is also a graduate of the Olathe Citizen's Police Academy. She has taken part in various steering committees including the Olathe Latino Coalition, the City of Shawnee, Kansas Parks and Recreation Improvement Plan and Citizen Engagement Committees. She is the past president of the Olathe Noon Rotary. Prior to joining Lathrop GPM, she held positions with the City of Olathe, UMB Financial Corporation, and El Centro, Inc.