The Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 provided for private dispute resolution in both federal and state matters through arbitration. Since then, foremost among those prominently supporting the adoption of arbitration as a way to settle disputes was Frances Alice Kellor (1893-1952). The first vice president of the AAA®, Kellor was the first woman to hold an executive position. She was elected to the Board of Directors and, in 1931, she prepared the Code of Arbitration Practice and Procedure.
Already blazing trails as an important female social and political activist, she turned her attention to promoting the use of arbitration, believing that “with the completion of a new institution of arbitration, the AAA was ready to construct a national system for economic peace and security in domestic affairs and to use this system for international peace and security.” She held that a pre-dispute agreement to arbitrate any dispute that might arise expresses good faith at the start of a business relationship. Kellor is the author of books on arbitration, including American Arbitration: Its History, Function and Achievements.
The AAA-ICDR today is the largest arbitral institution in the world, led by CEO and President India Johnson, the first woman to hold this position. She also has contributed greatly to the field of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), assisting state legislatures, courts, and other organizations in exploring and implementing dispute resolution programs.
And she is representative of a thriving female workforce. Currently just 25% of the Standard & Poor (S & P) 500 executive and senior-level officials are women–but almost 40% of AAA-ICDR executives are women.
Not only that, the number of women on the AAA Roster of Arbitrators and Mediators continues to grow. Since 2015, 285 women were added to the panel with expertise in construction, commercial, employment, international and other areas.
In addition to India Johnson, women hold top positions leading the organization. The AAA Board of Directors chair is Teresa McCaslin, and Edna Sussman chairs the AAA-ICDR Foundation®, established with the purpose of funding critical domestic and international ADR projects.
Teresa McCaslin, Chair of the AAA Board of Directors
Edna Sussman, Chair of the AAA-ICDR Foundation Board of Directors
India Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer
Diana Didia, Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Innovation Officer
Christine Newhall, Senior Vice President, Labor, Employment and Elections Division
Jean Baker, Vice President, Commercial Division
Linda Beyea, Vice President, Construction Division, Innovation
Sasha Carbone, Associate General Counsel, Assistant Corporate Secretary
Tracey Frisch, Vice President and Senior Counsel
Ingeuneal Gray, Vice President, Commercial Division
Janice Holdinski, Vice President, Labor, Employment and Elections Division
Karen Jalkut, Vice President, Commercial Division
Interna Khutorsky, Vice President, Software Development
Maureen Kurdziel, Division Vice President, New York State Insurance Division
Ann Lesser, Vice President, Labor, Employment and Elections Division
Adriana Odice, Vice President of Financial Systems
Elizabeth Patrocinio, Vice President, Corporate Services
Michelle Skipper, Vice President, Commercial Division
Rebecca Storrow, Vice President, Commercial Division
Kelly Turner, Vice President, Commercial Division
Kelly Weisbrod, Vice President and Controller
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