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Introducing my friend Shawn A. Miles, Senior Vice President, Group Head, Global Public Policy & Regulatory Strategy Counsel, for MasterCard Worldwide.  We hear so many stories about disappointing young African-American men these days, but so rarely do we celebrate the success stories of those literally changing the paradigms by and through the way they live their lives.  Such a positive, empowered, getting-it-done role model, can be found in the name of one Shawn Miles.  

"It takes 20 years to change  culture.  In the last 20 years we have made dumb sexy.  In the next 20 years we need to make smart sexy again."  

I am proud to call him a good friend, a board member for Operation HOPE in the Northeast, and through his engagement, his CEO Ajay Banga at MasterCard Worldwide, along with other leaders at MasterCard Worldwide, the company is a strong, long-term supporter of and partner with our work.  But there is yet another reason I find personal pride and reason to celebrate Shawn.

Shawn is the only young African-American professional male I know, not bouncing a ball or hitting one (in sports), or singing into a microphone (a recording artist), that I actually might run into regularly traveling through some foreign airport in the world — doing his job. And as I see so few African-American male professionals on my international travel map, they are easy to find, see and remember.  Just this week I found myself in Oslo, Norway, while Shawn was simultaneously emailing me while traveling through Warsaw, Poland.

Two good brothers (well, at least one — Shawn, smile), traveling from South Central, South Bronx, South Detroit, to South France, South Africa and back.  

Read more on Shawn Miles background here.

Shawn A. Miles has worked for MasterCard for over 22 years and has a wide array of experiences from his work in the business and legal areas within the company.  In 2008, he was appointed group head, Global Public Policy and Regulatory Strategy.  In this role, Mr. Miles has the responsibility for MasterCard’s global public policy and regulatory strategy efforts in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Prior to this role, Mr. Miles served in the Law Department for eight years and served as lead counsel to the MasterCard Global Product, Co-branding, Advertising, Commerce Development, Canada Region, Global Marketing, Member Relations, Public Policy, Sponsorship and Research groups and worked on major litigations involving MasterCard.  Prior to joining the Law Department, he worked for eight years in various business units including, Interchange, Franchise Management, Global Research and Analysis and Product and Service Delivery.  From 1988-1991, he was an intern in the Inroads program and conducted rotations within the Marketing and Finance areas.

In addition to his public policy and legal work, Mr. Miles is on the Northeastern Board of Directors for Operation Hope and also lead’s the company’s consumer education initiatives. He also serves on the Board’s of the Business Council of Westchester and the ProBono Partnership.  As a demonstration of his commitment to diversity and the community at large, he led the creation of diversity programs for the Law Department. Examples of the diversity programs include: a mentorship program with minority law students at Pace University’s Law School; and a pro bono program to provide legal support to local nonprofit organizations that serve the poor and disadvantaged.

Mr. Miles is a recipient of the 2005 Black Achievers in Industry Award presented by the Harlem YMCA, won the 2005 Business Council of Westchester County’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” Award and the MasterCard General Counsel’s Award of Distinction in 2007 and 2004.

Mr. Miles received a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Brooklyn Law School.  He was an evening student at Brooklyn Law School, while working at MasterCard and served as member of the Journal of Law and Policy and the Moot Court Honor Society.

Mr. Miles is admitted to the bars of the State of New York and Connecticut and is a member of the American Corporate Counsel Association.

 

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