MGM Resorts International’s Phyllis A James is set to lead a newly formed, MGM-backed Foundation for Women’s Leadership & Empowerment as the group’s new President, as MGM has been named as the founding sponsor.

The new charitable foundation is set to build upon the existing footprint of the Annual Women’s Leadership Conference, historically presented by The MGM Resorts Foundation in Las Vegas to other cities around the country.

“Phyllis has had a stellar 17-year career with our Company in both the legal and CSR realms. I cannot applaud enough her contributions to the evolution of our systems, practices and most of all, our values and culture of inclusion,” said Jim Murren, MGM Resorts Chairman & CEO.

“In light of the deep passion and commitment she has brought to the quest for equality – both in our Company and beyond – and her steadfast dedication to our Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference, I cannot think of anyone better positioned to lead the new Foundation for Women’s Leadership & Empowerment.

“MGM Resorts is proud to be Founding Sponsor for this new venture. I expect its conferences will inspire many, many women and other attendees to greater personal and professional achievements and help accelerate our society’s movement toward gender equity.”

James, who has worked with MGM Resorts since 2002, has held a number of career positions including a partner in private law practice at the Pillsbury Madison & Sutro (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) law firm and then as General Counsel (Corporation Counsel) for the City of Detroit.

She joined MGM as senior counsel in the Company’s Corporate Legal Department – where she subsequently served as Chief Litigation Officer leading defense of major complex litigation against the Company.

James has previously been recognized for spearheading the organizational infrastructure, systems and cultural evolution that have resulted in MGM Resorts’ award-winning diversity and inclusion.

“I have been privileged to dedicate myself to MGM Resorts as both legal counsel and Chief Diversity & Corporate Responsibility Officer – twin passions of my life. At this juncture I am extremely enthusiastic about serving as President of the new Foundation for Women’s Leadership & Empowerment,” said Phyllis James.

“Gender equity is an unconquered realm of equality, and one of the most vital to achieve the full potential of human civilization. Whatever we can do to educate and equip women to better meet the challenges of leadership of our families, our communities, our institutions and our society is a noble endeavor that will serve us all.”