Lisa Harris Jones
FOUNDER AND MANAGING MEMBER, HARRIS, JONES & MALONE, LLC
In 2000, after nearly a decade of practicing law in some of Maryland’s finest law firms, Lisa Harris Jones founded Harris Jones & Malone LLC. Twenty years later, she remains the first and only African-American woman in the state to own and manage a law practice that focuses on lobbying, government relations and procurement law.
Jones has worked on such high-profile matters as the repeal of Maryland’s death penalty and enacting the Civil Marriage Protection Act. She’s also done pro bono work for Dyslexia education and community development in Baltimore.
Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?
Michelle Harris Bondima (strong work ethic); Sean Malone (the power of indifference); Pless B. Jones Sr. (entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to take risk); Larry Gibson (a career path); Barry Portnoy (self confidence); Jennifer Clark (leadership); Joan Carter Conway (compassion); and Katrina Dennis (courage).
What are your hopes for the state or your community this year?
Baltimore’s Black community deserves true gains in areas of equity and inclusion. Rich in talent, we continue to be afforded little opportunity in business, the arts and access to education. 2021 should bring increased representation in C-suites and on for- and nonprofit boards.
Instead of drafting diversity plans, companies and organizations must place us in positions of power. We must be included as partners in private deals and not simply used to meet minority goals on government projects.
Baltimore’s business community must embrace the benefits of inclusion; we have waited long enough.