Awards and Rankings

Emilie Ninan Named '2022 Woman of the Year' by the National Diversity Council

February 2, 2022

The National Diversity Council will honor Emilie R. Ninan, partner and Co-Chair of Ballard Spahr’s national Finance Department, with its 2022 Woman of the Year Award.

The award, which celebrates Ms. Ninan for her professional excellence and consistent leadership as a role model and mentor for women, will be bestowed at the Philadelphia Women in Leadership Symposium on March 24.

The accolade honors Ms. Ninan as a game-changer, a “trailblazer with a track record of breaking down barriers and helping to create opportunities for women,” someone who is “courageous, fearless,” and who “exemplifies professionalism and mutual respect for others.”

Nationally recognized for her skill in public finance, Ms. Ninan was the first woman to serve as Chair of Ballard Spahr’s acclaimed Public Finance practice, an industry leader that has participated in the issuance of more than $1 trillion in tax-exempt obligations in every U.S. state and territory. She represents public and private sector clients in capital financing through the issuance of tax-exempt bonds, as well as in commercial real estate lending matters, contract negotiation, and other finance transactions. She holds a J.D. and MBA from Georgetown University.

In addition to maintaining a successful practice and serving in firm management, Ms. Ninan is active in industry organizations and a frequent speaker on legal and diversity topics. She is a former National President of the South Asian Bar Association of North America, the Founding President of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, and currently the only practicing Delaware lawyer who is a Fellow in the American College of Bond Counsel.

At the forefront of diversity and inclusion efforts throughout her career, Ms. Ninan was the first partner of color in the 185-year history of her former firm and has worked to increase the percentage of equity partners in law firms that are women of color. At Ballard Spahr, she is involved in recruiting and retention efforts and serves as a mentor to multiple women of color. Ms. Ninan takes time to speak with associates about their professional development and their paths to partnership and has taken the lead in establishing a webinar and podcast series geared toward the professional development of women. She has been profiled by Law360 as a Female Powerbroker and is the recipient of a number of prior awards, including a Private Sector Trailblazer Award from the Bond Buyer and from Northeast Women in Public Finance, as well as the Hinton J. Lucas, Jr. Torchbearer Award from DuPont, for outstanding leadership and dedication to advancing diversity in the legal profession.

The National Diversity Council is the first nonprofit organization to bring together the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. The organization’s vision is to cultivate a nationwide network of affiliated councils to advance diversity and inclusion by transforming work places and communities into inclusive environments where individuals are valued for their talents and empowered to reach their fullest potential.

For media inquiries, please contact Bill Shralow at 215.864.8195.

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