Laurel G. Bellows

Class of 2016

Ms. Bellows is Founder and Managing Principal of the Bellows Law Group, P.C. which she leads as a business person, lawyer and entrepreneur.  Ms. Bellows is nationally recognized for her expertise in executive compensation, talent retention and integration in connection with mergers and acquisitions. She is conversant with the importance of melding economic interests with the imperative of attracting and retaining talent.

Ms. Bellows identifies and implements creative responses to corporate disrupters.  Most recently she launched a national initiative to assist global corporations to find business solutions to unintentional corporate recruitment of forced and bonded labor. Ms. Bellows founded the American Bar Association’s Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking in the United States, working with corporations to adopt best business practices, and risk assessment tools to preserve business reputation and address anticipated government regulation related to supply chains.

Laurel Bellows is former President and Chairman of the Board of the 400,000 member American Bar Association.  She founded the ABA’s Task Force on Cybersecurity to address the business risks and concerns attendant to growing cyberattacks and increased government regulations.  Her current focus is on the rapidly changing security needs of business and customers.  She was an early advocate of risk assessment relating to corporate cyber security, response to government regulation and BOYD (Bring Your Own Device) protocols. 

Given Ms. Bellows significant interest in cross border business transactions particularly involving employment and recruitment, Ms. Bellows currently serves on his Council and Executive committee of the Spanish speaking Inter-American Bar Association.  She also serves on the President’s Council of the Union International des Avocats.

Ms. Bellows was honored to accept an appointment by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the Commission on Global Citizenship.  The Commission presented its report on the status of the UN Declaration of Human Rights directly to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in April 2016.1

A few of Laurel Bellows many accolades include acknowledgement by Crain’s Chicago Business on their annual list of most influential business leaders in Chicago for the past 20 years. Along with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mary Robinson, she received the inaugural Lexis Rule of Law Award in 2012.   Due to her representation of broker/dealers and expertise in the commodities industry, Ms. Bellows was nominated by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to Chair the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.  (President Clinton appointed Mary Shapiro.)  Ms. Bellows is experienced in highly regulated industries. 

As former President and Chairman of the Board of the American Bar Association she served at various prior times as Chair of the Finance Committee of the Board (budget of $100 million+), member of the Audit Committee, Chair of the Pension Review Committee (moving from a Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution Employee plans), and Chair of the ABA’s 550 member policy making House of Delegates.

Ms. Bellows holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law of Chicago. Ms. Bellows speaks Spanish.

1Members of the original Commission included, Nicolas Beggruen, Billionaire Philanthropist and President of Beggruen Holdings, Mohammed El Baradei, former Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency and awarded 2005 Nobel Peace Prize,  Andrew Forrest, mining magnate and non-executive chairman of Fortescue Metals Group,  John Kufuor, former President of Ghana,  Phumsile Miambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, Ricken Patel, President of Avaaz, world’s largest online activist community, and founder of Walk Free, Robert Rubin, co-chairman of Council on Foreign Relations and former Secretary of the U. S. Treasury, Aung San Suu Kyi,State, Counsellor of Myanmar, Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of World Economic Forum.