Paulette Dodson is an executive leader and board director with extensive experience as a strategic advisor to CEOs and boards of directors of Fortune 500 and large privately-held companies. As General Counsel at Alight, Inc. (NYSE: ALIT), Petsmart, Inc., and Sara Lee Corporation, Paulette executed and advised on strategic and cultural change, including board governance, executive management, board succession planning, shareholder activism, cybersecurity and privacy issues, mergers and acquisitions, corporate compliance, and ESG. Since 2021, Paulette has served on the board of directors of Portillo’s Inc. (NASDAQ: PTLO), the fast-casual restaurant chain known for its Chicago-style street food menu, and sits on the board’s Corporate Governance Committee.
Paulette last served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Alight, Inc., a global human capital and business solutions provider carved out from Aon as a Blackstone portfolio company. During her tenure with Alight, Paulette served as a key advisor to the C-Suite and board as it established itself as a stand-alone global company and prepared for going public, which it eventually achieved in its 2021 IPO (via a SPAC transaction). She led several strategic M&A transactions, including and most notably, the execution of a long-term outsourcing deal related to the divestiture of an 8,000-colleague subsidiary located in India. Paulette also spearheaded the development of the company’s first global ESG committee and working group, which ushered in Alight’s first global impact report.
Before joining Alight, Paulette was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of PetSmart, Inc. During her time at PetSmart, she guided the board and company through leadership changes, a shareholder activist defense, and the largest leveraged buyout of a retailer at the time, which resulted in the $8.7B public to private sale of the company. She led PetSmart Charities, then North America’s largest animal welfare organization, through a full strategic review and organizational transformation. Paulette also served in various roles at Sara Lee Corporation, including General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Counsel for North America. As General Counsel, she oversaw the division of the company into two separate publicly-traded companies: Hillshire Brands, a meat processing company in the United States, and Douwe Egberts, a beverage company in the Netherlands.
Since 2011, Paulette has served on the board of directors of Mather Inc. She currently chairs the Corporate Governance Committee and serves on the Executive Committee. With $73M in annual revenues and nearly $1B in assets, Mather creates ways for people to age well through building and managing award-winning residences, a research institute, and neighborhood programs that support innovations and best practices. She is also on the board of the United Way of Metro Chicago. In 2022, she received the Anti-Defamation League’s prestigious Women of Achievement Award to recognize her civic contributions, including her efforts toward promoting diversity and equity.
Paulette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from City College of New York and a Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School.