Ascend, with Professor Hillary Sale

The Ascend program launched in March 2022. The new program is aimed at established lawyers. As their careers are on the rise, women lawyers often face competing opportunities and shifting priorities as they gain a more precise definition of career success and excellence. Whether the goal is partnership, independence, entrepreneurship, or career transition, the Center’s Ascend program helps established lawyers explore the opportunities and challenges of furthering their careers through promotions, pivots, and reimagining. The modular curriculum allows participants to tailor the program to focus on the skills and information needed to meet their goals.

The Ascend program launched in March 2022 with an interactive workshop led by Georgetown University Associate Dean and Professor Hillary Sale. In this session, participants focused on the power and importance of having a strategic career plan. In addition to covering the research behind developing a plan, Professor Sale explored the critical elements of a strategic plan and highlighted the importance of alignment within strategies. She led participants through the initial steps of drafting their plans, emphasizing tactics for implementing those plans.

For further questions about the Ascend program, please email

Hillary A. Sale is a recognized expert in leadership and corporate governance.  She has been a member of the FINRA Board of Governors since 2016, where she Chairs the Regulatory Policy Committee and serves on the Executive, Nominating and Governance, Compensation, and Regulatory Operations Committees. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of Foundation Press, an educational publisher of scholarly books, and a director with DirectWomen, a nonprofit focused on increasing the presence of women on public company boards.  Hillary is the Chair of the DirectWomen Board Institute and serves on DirectWomen’s Executive, Nominating and Governance, and Selection Committees.

Hillary is also the Associate Dean for Strategy, an award-winning scholar, and the Agnes Williams Sesquicentennial Professor of Law and Professor of Management at Georgetown University.  As an industry-focused academic, she writes and speaks about leadership and corporate governance.  In the spring of 2017, she was the Sullivan & Cromwell Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, teaching Women’s Leadership and Corporate Boards and Governance.

She is an accomplished business partner who speaks to and works with industry groups and academic audiences and was selected by the St. Louis Business Journal as a “2014 Most Influential Business Woman.” In addition to running leadership and governance programs, Hillary consults regularly with CEOs and C-suite executives on leadership, governance, strategy, inclusion and diversity, and company culture.  She also develops custom executive education programs and works with business leaders in programs at Harvard Law, where she Chairs the Women’s Leadership Initiative, and at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and the Law Center.

Hillary graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and holds a master’s degree in Economics from Boston University, where she also completed her B.A., summa cum laude.  Before joining the Georgetown faculty, she was the Walter D. Coles Professor of Law and a Professor of Management at Washington University in St. Louis.  Hillary also worked in the government investigations and corporate and securities class actions areas at WilmerHale, LLP and in Massachusetts politics.

Event series: Ascend