Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion
Washington, D.C.

Bendita Cynthia Malakia is working to transform the legal profession into an inclusive industry where women, minorities, LGBT+, differently abled, and other professionals are able to thrive.

She works with global stakeholders and regional diversity leaders to create and implement the firm's diversity and inclusion strategy and weave diverse and inclusive best practices throughout the firm. Her goal is to leverage diversity and inclusion for the benefit of our clients and diverse professionals, and to support the firm's culture and profitability. Bendita aims to be a catalyst for diversity and inclusion by building processes that ensure diversity and inclusion are integrated into the way we do business, by leading Mansfield Rule compliance efforts, partnering with leaders to ensure actions taken have been looked at through a diversity lens, coaching leaders on inclusive practices, working with clients to engage in mutually beneficial partnerships centered on supporting the firm's diverse professionals, and by serving as a thought leader in the industry on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Bendita draws on her prior experiences as a large law firm lawyer financing projects in emerging markets, in-house counsel at two global financial institutions, a diversity consultant for large and mid-size organizations, and a certified professional coach to cultivate change at the institutional and individual levels.

Bendita's thought leadership and advocacy extend to being a prolific writer and speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. She is Secretary of the National LGBT Bar, sits on the Mansfield Rule advisory board for the U.S. and UK, serves on the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession's Social Impact Incubator, and was a 2019 columnist for Minority Corporate Counsel Association's Diversity & the Bar magazine.

Awards and recognitions


Rising Star
Super Lawyers


Who's Who in Black Dallas


Project Finance (Washington, D.C.)
Who's Who Legal

Education and admissions


Professional Coach Certification, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, 2017

J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 2008

B.A., Barnard College, summa cum laude, 2005


Board Secretary, National LGBT Bar Association (2015-present)

Member, Mansfield Rule Implementation Taskforce (2018-present)

Member, Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (2017-present)

Member, Social Impact Incubator, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Board Member, Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative (2008-2018)

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