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Simone Wu

Simone Wu serves as senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer for Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s largest lodging franchisors with more than 6,300 hotels, representing more than 500,000 rooms, in the United States and over 30 other countries and territories. In this role Ms. Wu has gained extensive expertise in franchise development and operations, brand-building, and expanding relationships with key stakeholders. 

Since joining the company, Ms. Wu has been an integral part of the executive leadership team, and has been involved in strategic planning, identifying and developing new growth opportunities and technology initiatives. In addition to leading the company’s legal and compliance organizations, she also oversees risk management, procurement services, governmental affairs, corporate communications and public relations. In addition, Ms. Wu chairs and/or serves on a variety of enterprise-wide committees that have given her an in-depth understanding of the company’s operations, processes, and critical business requirements. Prior to joining Choice Hotels, Ms. Wu served as executive vice president, legal and administration, for XO Communications, a leading nationwide provider of advanced IP communications, managed network, and IT infrastructure services. In addition to leading the legal and human resources functions in that role, she mobilized a cross functional team dedicated to examining and improving every aspect of the customer experience as part of a strategic initiative to transform the company. She also provided leadership to the company through a $780M private placement of preferred shares, a “going private” transaction, and other significant events. 

Earlier in her career, Ms. Wu led the international commercial legal team at MCI where she worked closely with other business leaders to grow strategic relationships with international partners to offer customers seamless global service. Ms. Wu also structured and negotiated technology transactions at AOL as a dealmaker driving new strategic initiatives to expand AOL beyond its original business model in collaboration with various business units, ensuring that business unit and corporate objectives were successfully achieved. Ms. Wu began her career practicing corporate transactional and communications law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where she developed a strength in integrating and leveraging the business and legal needs of large media and technology companies. Her background includes experience in structuring and running complex corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, international and domestic commercial transactions and joint ventures, litigation, employment law, and technology and intellectual property matters. 

Ms. Wu is currently chair of the board of directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and she serves on the boards of directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association, the regional chapter of the global Association of Corporate Counsel, and The Inkwell, a resource for new play development for playwrights, playmakers and playgoers. She received a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Michigan, with high honors and high distinction, and a J.D. from Columbia University, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.