Sandra S. Yamate is the CEO of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. She spent the preceding ten years as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. She was the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, Sandra was a litigator in Chicago for ten years.
Currently, Sandra serves on the boards of the National Judicial College, where she chairs the Nominations and Governance Committee, and the National Association of Women Lawyers, where she is part of the Advocacy and Survey Committees. Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor and continues to serve on the Leadership Advisory Council. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee, the oldest Asian American social service agency in the Midwest and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children’s literature.
Sandra earned her AB in Political Science (cum laude) and History (magna cum laude) from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her JD from Harvard Law School.
Sandra, her husband, Brian Witkowski, and their dogs, Cashew and Filbert, live in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood.