In her role as Starbucks evp, general counsel and secretary, Paula Boggs leads the Law & Corporate Affairs department, advising a wide range of Starbucks partners (employees) on legal and business issues. Since joining Starbucks in September 2002, she has been passionate about hiring and nurturing partners to grow, develop and reach their potential. Inquisitive by nature, she believes that by being curious she will learn about those she leads, understand differences and successfully work through issues that begin as challenges but ultimately result in creating a better solution.
Paula’s legal career began in 1984 as a United States Army officer assigned to the Pentagon. She also worked as a staff attorney for the White House before leaving the service in 1988. From 1988 to 1994, Paula served as assistant United States attorney in the Western District of Washington and was responsible for prosecuting fraud and regulatory crimes before trial and appellate courts.
Paula was a partner at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle, one of the premier, full-service law firms in the country, recognized for its expertise in technology, intellectual property and complex business transaction issues, as well as governmental and public policy work. During her tenure with the firm from 1995 to 1997, Paula was a trial lawyer specializing in corporate civil litigation.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Paula served as Dell Computer Corporation’s Vice President, Legal for Products, Operations and Information Technology Systems from 1997 to 2002. She also supported the Audit Committee of Dell’s board of directors.
Paula is an active volunteer in both legal and civic organizations. She serves as Washington State Delegate to the ABA’s House of Delegates; is on the Johns Hopkins University Board of Trustees; is a member of the KEXP Advisory Council; serves on theAmerican Red Cross Board of Governors. She is also currently co-chair of Washington State’s Campaign for Equal Justice (fundraising on behalf of legal services for the poor) . Her past activities include serving on the board of Premera Blue Cross, as Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, and adjunct professor at University of Washington School of Law. Paula and Starbucks were awarded the Washington State Bar Association’s 2005 “Excellence in Diversity”Award. She is also the recipient of the ABA 2006 Spirit of Excellence Award and the 2006 Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. Her awards and recognition include the 2006 Seattle ChapterUrban League Spirit Award, the 2008 National Bar Association Wiley A. Branton Award for her demonstrated service in the area of civil rights, and being named NASDAQ’s 2009 Top General Counsel. In 2010 President Obama named Paula to the White House Council for Community Solutions.
Paula received her bachelor of arts degree in international studies from The Johns Hopkins University, where she was awarded the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus(a) Award and her juris doctor from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, where she was named the “1998 Recent Alumna of the Year” both in recognition of her professional and civic contributions. In her spare time, Paula enjoys running and is a singer and songwriter who in 2010 released her debut CD, “A Buddha State of Mind.”
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