Jana Cohen Barbe

Class of 2016, Marketing & Communications Committee Member

Jana Barbe is the immediate past Global Vice Chair of Dentons, the largest law firm in the world. Since the inception of Dentons, Jana has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of a strategic vision that created a top tier global professional service corporation comprised of a 7800-attorney law firm and multiple ancillary companies. She has done so by balancing aspiration and ambition with fiscal responsibility and, in the process , has earned a reputation for her integrity, her candor and her pragmatism. In her governance role fort his billion-dollar, international business, with141 locations serving 58 countries (including both mature and emerging markets) and comprised of more than 13,500 lawyers and staff persons, Jana is known for her ability to build consensus and is frequently called upon to navigate differences among diverse global regions.

As a real estate professional who advises many leading global financial institutions and insurance companies, Jana is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential and highly regarded practitioners in real estate law. Her highly specialized substantive expertise bridges tax, corporate, partnership, finance and real estate law further enhancing her business acumen. As one Firm client put it, "Jana is unique in that she sees things from many different directions, anticipating issues and opportunities. Jana asks all the right questions and is very practical and solution-oriented, which makes her so effective on delivering sound advice on complex matters."

Jana is also an entrepreneur and the CEO of her family's thoroughbred breeding and horse racing business. In that role, she oversees bloodstock, investments, sales and budgeting. Committed to globalization, Jana is a member of the Board of Advisors of Global Thinkers Forum (GTF), an elite international organization nurturing leadership talent among women and youth around the world by integrating global data and information, bridging cultures and creating opportunities for knowledge exchange and best practices in governance, business and society.

Equally committed to serving her community, Jana is the president emerita of Thresholds, Illinois’' oldest and largest provider of supportive services and housing to individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses and one of the Chicago-land area's most visible and well-respected non-profits. Jana led Thresholds' prominent board comprised of Chicago community leaders from 2013-2015, a time when Thresholds had an operating budget of $80 million, as staff of over 1000, and was recognized as one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Top Workplaces" and one of Chicago's "101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For". Her service to Thresholds, which serves more than 9,500 adults and youths each year, has spanned more than 25 years.