Los Angeles Master Chorale Announces New Board Members
Los Angeles Master Chorale Announces New Board Members
Alex G. Romain, Laura Smolowe, and Andrea Williams
(Los Angeles, CA) December 17, 2019 – The Los Angeles Master Chorale announced today the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors: Alex G. Romain, Laura Smolowe and Andrea Williams.
The Board, chaired by Philip A. Swan, provides leadership in carrying out the Master Chorale’s mission to share the spectrum of choral music with the widest possible audience. “We are very fortunate to add Alex G. Romain, Laura Smolowe and Andrea Williams to the Master Chorale’s Board of Directors,” said Swan. “Their extensive backgrounds and areas of expertise will bring indispensable value to the Board, and will help us realize the Master Chorale’s vision as we look towards the future.”
“We are thrilled to announce the first phase of our leadership expansion with the election of Alex, Andrea and Laura,” said Jean Davidson, President & CEO. “These three new board members will bring their unique perspectives on the community that we serve here in LA, and around the world.”
Alex G. Romain, a partner at Irell & Manella LLP, is a leading national trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in high-stakes, complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense. Alex’s advocacy has led to exemplary results for his clients. He was a member of the trial team that exonerated the late Sen. Ted Stevens, playing a key role in pursuing the exculpatory evidence that ultimately led to the senator’s exoneration. The American Lawyer described his team’s work on the case as “one of the best criminal defense performances in memory, resulting in a heightened scrutiny of prosecutors that will affect the Justice Department for years to come.” Among other high-profile matters, Alex successfully represented the Baltimore Ravens in connection with the independent investigation conducted by former FBI Director Robert Mueller into the National Football League’s handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. As lead counsel, Alex represented a leading global professional services company in an $830 million malpractice lawsuit brought by the city of Houston in connection with the city’s $6.2 billion pension crisis. Alex also successfully represented the former chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae against securities fraud claims in which the plaintiff sought more than $2 billion in damages, and the court awarded his client summary judgment on all counts. Alex has litigated privilege and conflicts issues on behalf of private equity and accounting firms. He has also defended individuals and corporations against allegations of campaign finance violations, obstruction of justice, bank fraud, environmental pollution, theft, fraudulent misappropriation, and attempted murder. Alex was selected to Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America, and was featured in Law360’s “Minority Powerbrokers” series. He was selected to Savoy Magazine’s list of “Most Influential Black Lawyers.” He has also recently been featured in The Recorder and in Attorney at Law Magazine as Attorney of the Month. Before moving to California, Alex spent 10 years as a litigation partner at Williams & Connolly in Washington, D.C. During law school, he worked at the Department of Justice in the Office of the Attorney General for Civil Rights, where he received the U.S. Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award for Outstanding Service.
Laura D. Smolowe is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson, and co-leads the Trade Secret and Employee Mobility Practice Group. Her practice focuses on complex commercial litigation and trials in federal and state courts, as well as counseling clients through their most difficult and thorny issues. Ms. Smolowe has represented Fortune 500 companies as lead counsel, and her successful trial verdicts have twice been named by the Daily Journal as “Top Defense Verdicts” of that year. Ms. Smolowe has particular expertise in the area of trade secrets and employee mobility across a wide array of industries, including technology, entertainment, fashion, retail, finance and pharmaceuticals. She publishes regularly in this area and co-authored the chapter on trade secrets and restrictive covenants in the 2016-2017 editions of the California Business Litigation handbook. In 2017, Ms. Smolowe was recognized among the Most Influential Intellectual Property Lawyers by the Los Angeles Business Journal. In 2019, she was selected as a Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Ms. Smolowe has a special interest in constitutional law and has litigated multiple constitutional issues, including section 1983 and state and federal habeas cases involving, among other issues, due process and the First, Sixth and Eighth Amendments. Ms. Smolowe maintains an active pro bono docket, where she focuses on civil rights cases. As a key example, she has partnered with the ACLU of Southern California to bring two groundbreaking federal class actions challenging police and prosecutorial enforcement of gang injunctions in Orange County and Los Angeles. These lawsuits have resulted, in the first case, in a precedent-setting Ninth Circuit opinion holding that the enforcement violated due process, and in the second case, a class-wide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of most gang injunctions in Los Angeles. For this work, Ms. Smolowe was a 2018 recipient of the ACLU’s Equal Justice Award and a 2011 recipient of the ACLU’s Courageous Advocacy Award.
Ms. Smolowe is a national co-chair of the American Bar Association's Judicial Intern Opportunity Program. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Ms. Smolowe also serves on the boards of the anti-poverty non-profit LIFT-LA. From 2011-2014, she served on the California State Bar's Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, to which she was appointed by the State Bar’s Board of Trustees.
Ms. Smolowe received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review, was the director of the Green Haven Prison Project and served on the boards of Yale Law Women and the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, Yale's clinical arm. A graduate of Yale University (magna cum laude, with distinction in history), Ms. Smolowe was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Alpha Theta Honor Societies and was awarded the 2002 Lily Rosen Prize for her senior thesis on women’s health in Australia.
Ms. Smolowe joined the firm after clerkships with the Honorable Richard A. Paez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Dean D. Pregerson on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Andrea Williams is a Managing Director at Oaktree Capital Management where she is Global Head of Corporate Communications & Branding. She has a comprehensive background in leading all facets of communications across multiple industries with strategic and transactional leadership in corporate finance, capital markets and investor relations. Having built Oaktree’s communications and investor relations functions upon its IPO in 2012 to among the most comprehensive and diverse platforms in the alternative asset management industry, Andrea is a member of Oaktree’s Management Committee and Senior Leadership Council in addition to other executive leadership roles within the firm. Andrea preserves, protects and enhances Oaktree’s corporate reputation and the public profile of its thought-leading co-founder. Additionally, she advises on communications, rebranding and crisis management issues related to the firm’s worldwide portfolio of companies in often complex, distressed or turn-around situations. Prior to joining Oaktree in 2012, she oversaw similar functions at two publicly traded technology companies. Andrea began her career on Wall Street on a fixed income trading desk and then joined sell-side equity research teams with prominent investment banking firms. Andrea graduated from Columbia University and has an MBA from Southern Methodist University. She is a board member of the Friends of the Pasadena Public Library and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale, the country’s preeminent professional choir and resident company at Walt Disney Concert Hall, has increased its budget by 46 percent in the last four years. The Master Chorale’s recent growth is matched by its ambitious initiatives, designed to present and perform choral music in fresh and engaging ways for today’s audiences, and to encourage all to practice the art of singing through its community education programs.
The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s signature touring production, Orlando di Lasso’s Lagrime di San Pietro, directed by Peter Sellars, opened the Salzburg Festival on July 20 and 21, 2019, and continues with additional tour dates throughout the 2019-2020 season, which also features Master Chorale-commissioned works by composers Gabriel Kahane and Derrick Spiva Jr.,and the world premiere of a new score by Jeff Beal for F.W. Murnau’s 1927 Academy Award-winning film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.