Meet Booz Allen’s Nancy Laben: A Woman Who Means Business

Nov 19, 2018 1:30 PM ET
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Hear how Nancy Laben’s grandmother and experiences in Japan inspired her career [Credit: Washington Business Journal]

As Booz Allen Hamilton’s first chief legal officer and corporate secretary, Nancy Laben has reshaped Booz Allen’s legal department, built the firm’s corporate affairs department, and helped launch the Booz Allen Foundation. In September, the Washington Business Journal (WBJ) named her among its 25 Women Who Mean Business for 2018.

Nancy credits two significant influences in her success: her grandmother, one of the first female lawyers on the East Coast who boldly brought her along to court cases and real estate closings when she wasn’t in school, and her teen years abroad in Japan, where she masterfully learned the power of networking and the importance of asking “why.”

Through her career, Nancy served as in-house counsel for global companies such as Accenture, IBM, and AECOM before joining Booz Allen where she now leads a diverse and dedicated team that embodies the firm’s purpose statement: “Empower People to Change the World.” In her current role she oversees Booz Allen’s Ethics & Compliance organization and serves on its teams for leadership, crisis management, disclosure, disciplinary action, branding strategy, and insider threat review.

Nancy’s foresight in understanding the future of Booz Allen has been essential to the firm’s sustained growth and success. She saw where the business needed to be, not just where it was – and helped to develop a juggernaut corporate affairs function to support CEO Horacio Rozanski’s vision for the future. Since her arrival almost five years ago, Booz Allen’s business has grown from $5.76 billion to $6.2 billion in revenue.

As a result of Nancy being named to WBJ’s Women Who Business List, here are highlights from her interview with the publication:

  • What moment in your career are you most proud of? My favorite thing about practicing law is that I get to build teams to do it. It’s not the law itself, although that’s fun. I love problem-solving. But I’m most proud of building teams and helping people get started in their careers and develop their careers to the point where they consider themselves successful, where they’ve learned new things and where they’ve progressed.
  • What do you hope will be the environment for women in business 15 years from now? I actually hope we’re not talking about it. I’m hoping it is a common event that you don’t think about if someone is male or female, that we’re on parity and no one either acknowledges it or cares about it.
  • Who is a female CEO or icon in business or nonprofits you admire? If I were to talk about one person, I would talk about Melinda Gates. She has taken the opportunities that she’s had and used them to help just incredible numbers of people.

For more about Nancy, read her full Washington Business Journal profile, here. To view the full list of Women Who Mean Business honorees, click here.