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Julia Hanbury Image
Julia Hanbury
Senior Marketing Communications Manager

Diligent Q&A – Introducing Nithya B. Das, Chief Legal Officer at Diligent

November 22, 2023
0 min read
Image of Nithya Das

We are thrilled to welcome Nithya B. Das to team Diligent! As the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, Nithya is responsible for leading the company’s global legal team and overseeing the Diligent Institute, Diligent's source for research based educational, thought leadership and media content focused on directors and C-suite.

Tell us about how you got here — what attracted you to Diligent?
As a former customer and a longtime champion of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), I was very familiar with Diligent and its governance and board management solution. Brian Stafford’s leadership and his vision for the Diligent One Platform as a full GRC suite of software to bring best practices to companies really attracted me to Diligent.

A hallmark of my career as a Chef Legal Officer, General Counsel, and operator has been serving as a champion of strong corporate governance, ethical management, and positive corporate culture. Diligent’s mission to leverage technology and information to provide a single, unified governance, risk and compliance platform experience is what my entire career has been about. In my prior role as the Chief Operating and Chief Legal Officer at Olo (NYSE: OLO), I implemented Diligent as part of our IPO readiness initiatives. You could say I believed in the solutions so much I decided I wanted to be a part of it all!

I am thrilled to be on team Diligent as we revolutionize the GRC landscape.

You have an impressive board resume; tell us about your work outside of Diligent?

I serve as a member of the board of directors and the compensation committee at Outbrain Inc., a leading technology platform that drives business results by engaging people across the open internet, which is publicly traded on NASDAQ. The team at Outbrain believes in continuing to evolve alongside the digital ecosystem while practicing operational excellence and good governance — areas I am extremely passionate about.

I'm also a charter member and former executive board member of TechGC, a professional training community for General Counsels of leading venture capital funds and high-growth technology companies, and active in the Women’s General Counsel Network. I deeply believe in the importance of networking, mentorship and tapping into a community with educational resources to promote professional growth.

As a Chief Legal Officer, you are well versed in risk. What are some of the top risks facing organizations today?

Regulatory and compliance risks are certainly at the top of the list. There are new changes in law coming down almost every week, from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence, climate disclosures and consumer protection. Disclosures, like all risks, are strategic opportunities. For example, organizations that act proactively, before they are required to disclose, have an opportunity to come out ahead of the competition, and drive loyalty with employees and customers.

While a lot of the focus on regulations centers around disclosures, disclosing is sometimes the easier part. The challenge is building best practices, from an operational perspective, so that disclosures are optimal. For example, with ESG disclosures going into a proxy and annual report, the hard work is in some of the steps along the way to design compensation, DEI and talent programs, capture and report on demographic data, and measure your carbon footprint and get alignment around a carbon reduction goal. Then on the governance front, setting up best in class processes around board assessment, diversity and recruiting, education, etc. I see similar parallels in setting up a cybersecurity program, enterprise risk management, and IPO readiness programs. Optimizing these operational components is key to disclosing successfully.

Aside from risk and good governance, what other areas are you passionate about?

This still falls into the “good governance” category, but I am very passionate about driving business growth through social responsibility. I’m also a strong advocate for women in leadership and advancing DEI. Companies that rank highly from a corporate governance perspective and diversity perspective are proven to outperform those that do not, and being silent on important issues doesn’t work any longer. Organizations should solidify their culture and values from the outset so that when these issues come up, boards and executives know where the company stands.

Lastly, what are you most excited about at Diligent?

There have already been so many exciting moments since I’ve joined the Diligent team! Connecting with customers at our annual summit in September and announcing the Diligent One platform were a couple of highlights. We’ve also launched a Chief Legal Officer salon series, and I have really enjoyed meeting our global customers to discuss topics impacting the legal profession.

In terms of what’s next, I’m really looking forward to “Ignite,” our annual company-wide kickoff in January where we get together both virtually and in-office to share our plans for the year ahead, get energized about major milestones and driving impact for our customers, and – most importantly – celebrate our people! Without giving too much away, there are some exciting platform updates we will be rolling out in Q1 that I can’t wait to introduce to our customers.

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