Gloria Santona

Gloria Santona

Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award

Gloria Santona is the Chief Legal Officer of McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 34,000 restaurants in 119 countries. In this role, she leads McDonald’s worldwide legal, compliance, regulatory and corporate governance functions. As part of McDonald’s senior leadership team, Ms. Santona is also actively involved in the company’s strategic direction and growth. 

Ms. Santona received a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School. She joined McDonald’s as an attorney shortly after her graduation from law school and subsequently held a number of management positions in the legal department. She became the company’s Corporate Secretary in 1996 and its U.S. General Counsel in 1999, and has served as Corporate General Counsel since 2001. 

She is a member of the Board of Directors of Aon Corporation, serving on its Audit and Governance Committees and is Chair of its Compliance Committee. In addition, Ms. Santona serves on the Board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, and as a trustee of Lewis University and of Rush University Medical Center, for which she serves as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee. Ms. Santona also serves on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession and is a member of the Advisory Board of Corporate Pro Bono. In 2012, Ms. Santona served on Legal Services Corporation’s Pro Bono Task Force. She is a member of the Chicago Network, the Association of General Counsel, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.

Ms. Santona was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and has received numerous awards, including the Women with Vision Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, the Excellence in Corporate Practice Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Women of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League, the National Hispanic Woman of the Year Award from the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, the Award for Outstanding Career Achievement from the Corporate Counsel Women of Color, the Founders’ Award from the Chicago Bar Association Alliance for Women, the Midwest Light of Human Rights Award from the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Mary V. Orozco Abriendo Caminos Award from the Latina Lawyers Bar Association and the Lucero Award from Latino Justice PRLDEF. In addition, Ms. Santona has been recognized as one of America’s Top General Counsel by Corporate Board Member magazine.