The Gates Foundation’s Keith Matthews explains what satisfies his soul and makes him happy to come to work every day.

CCBJ: Your career followed an interesting and varied path to the Gates Foundation. Can you tell us about that?

Keith Matthews: Professionally, my first job out of college was as a credit analyst and later a middle-market loan officer at what is now JPMorgan Chase. With that background – and with a finance degree from college – I knew early on in my career that I wanted to focus on transactional work.
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Connie Collingsworth is chief business operations officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: What led you to pursue a career in law?

Connie Collingsworth: I was somewhat strong-willed, always standing up for what was right, and I wanted to be an independent professional.
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Gage Johnson is senior VP, general counsel and secretary of Paramount Group Inc., a New York City-based public REIT. His remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: How did you become a lawyer?

Gage Johnson: When I was a kid, there was a TV show called “Perry Mason,” a lawyer who helped people out of jams. Mason also always won and was fun to watch. My dad, a lawyer in Bowling Green, Kentucky, looked like Perry Mason. He became a judge, so it was natural for me to become a lawyer.
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ACC’s 101-page annual CLO survey is a monument to the growing clout of top legal executives across the globe. Indeed, if they get any more influential, the CEO will report to the CLO instead of the other way around. ACC is not shy in blowing the horn for its constituents. “Based upon the feedback received from 1,275 CLOs in 48 countries,” it says, “with the publication of this 2018 CLO Survey, ACC marks the start of the Age of the Chief Legal Officer.”
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Recently, the topic of culture has rocketed up the corporate agenda. Look no further than our interview with Nick Donofrio and Helene Gayle, who recently led a Blue Ribbon Commission on culture for the National Association of Corporate Directors. Why take a hard look now at a “soft” topic such as culture? Check the headlines, says Donofrio, a member of the NACD board.
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Christine Coats has made bringing new speed and efficiency to legal operations the focus of her career. After an early stint with IBM, she became Director of Legal Operations at Symantec in 2005, at a time when the function barely existed. At Symantec, she acted as the general counsel’s chief of staff and ran business operations for the COO’s office. In 2015 she was hired as Vice President of Legal Operations at an even larger software company – Oracle Corporation – where she acts as the general counsel’s right hand. She also serves as the CFO of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). The interview has been edited for length and style.

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