Sarah C. Dodds-Brown

Advisory Board Member; Class of 2015

Sarah Dodds-Brown is Senior Vice President and Managing Counsel in the General Counsel’s Organization at American Express where she leads the regulatory and legal strategy for the American Express global merchant services, loyalty and network services businesses and sits on the Global Merchant Services & Loyalty executive team.

The American Express merchant and network services divisions are responsible for acquiring merchants to accept American Express cards, operating the global payments network that processes and settles proprietary and non- proprietary American Express card transactions, and managing the relationships with third parties that issue cards and acquire merchants on the American Express network. Ms. Dodds-Brown also heads the legal teams which provide legal and regulatory support for the global business financing, performance marketing, Accertify and InAuth sub-divisions.

Ms. Dodds-Brown is a strategic business partner who effectively builds consensus and creates momentum for change and evolution. She is a visionary leader, is highly respected among her peers, and has been instrumental in redefining the culture and expanding the engagement of the legal function at American Express.

For several years Ms. Dodds-Brown also led the enterprise-wide legal Privacy & Data Governance function. In this capacity, she revolutionized the approach to privacy and data governance across the Company. She co-led and set the substantive agenda for the broader privacy organization during an extended transition period between Chief Privacy Officers and privacy counsel and led the development of a principle and risk-based approach to how the Company partners and shares data with third parties while protecting the sensitive financial information of its card members. During the time of Ms. Dodds-Brown’s tenure leading the privacy legal function, the Company was recognized six years in a row as ‘The Most Trusted Company for Privacy’ in a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Since the beginning of her career, Ms. Dodds-Brown has been active with educational and civic organizations. She was elected and served as a “Young Trustee” on the Duke University Board of Trustees following her undergraduate studies and went on to subsequently serve two terms on the board of advisors for Duke’s Trinity College. In 2006, Ms. Dodds-Brown was asked by the University president to serve on a specially created Presidential Council to scrutinize Duke's responses to allegations made against several members of its men’s lacrosse team.  During a time of acute crisis for the University and incredible reputational vulnerability, Ms. Dodds-Brown and the other members of the Council advised the president on whether Duke's responses were appropriate and effective.  Ms. Dodds-Brown also served as an inaugural member of the Duke Women’s Impact Network Leadership Council, which is focused on strengthening the pipeline of women qualified for service on Duke’s volunteer leadership boards and broadening Duke’s understanding of women’s philanthropic motivations to better cultivate and engage women donors.

In 2011, Ms. Dodds-Brown was asked by the Mayor of the City of New Rochelle to participate on a joint City/College planning committee undertaken between Iona College and the City following the withdrawal by Iona College of a controversial and contested off-campus dormitory proposal. Following her successful and influential role on the planning committee, Ms. Dodds-Brown was appointed by the Mayor to the City’s Planning Board on which she is currently serving her second term and as Chair of the board. Ms. Dodds-Brown is also a member of the DirectWomen Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY.

Ms. Dodds-Brown began her career in private practice as an M&A and private equity lawyer at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York.    She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and her A.B. degree from Duke University.