Katayun I. Jaffari, a Ballard Spahr partner recognized as a leader in the areas of corporate governance and securities, has been named Special Corporate Counsel to DirectWomen, an initiative to increase the number of women on the boards of public companies.

Based in New York City, DirectWomen is the only national program designed to identify, develop, and support a select group of accomplished women attorneys who are qualified to serve as corporate board directors. The initiative also promotes the independence and diversity required for good corporate governance.

“It’s important for corporate board members who chart their company’s strategic direction to reflect the diversity of the broader community,” Ms. Jaffari said. “The boards of public companies can benefit immensely from the business acumen of experienced women attorneys. I wholeheartedly support DirectWomen’s mission and look forward to working with its leadership on corporate governance.”

DirectWomen seeks to increase the representation of women on corporate boards. The initiative identifies leading women lawyers from around the country who are able to provide the experience, independence, business judgment, and diversity required for board effectiveness and good corporate governance. It serves as a resource for companies seeking qualified women board candidates and honors women attorneys who have served with distinction and advanced the value of diversity in board positions with the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award.

At Ballard Spahr, Ms. Jaffari handles complex securities transactions for businesses in a variety of industries, including biotechnology, energy, and technology, advising clients in deals that have reached the multibillion-dollar range. In her corporate governance practice, she counsels clients on complying with federal laws such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. She also helps clients develop compliance programs and guides them in matters related to their corporate governance responsibilities.

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