Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion
Washington, D.C.

Bendita Cynthia Malakia leads Hogan Lovells' global diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI) efforts with the aim of ensuring that historically underrepresented professionals can thrive. Bendita serves as architect and executor of the firm's D&I strategy in partnership with firm leadership and a global team of 11 D&I professionals, for the benefit of the firm's people, its culture, and clients.

Bendita has the pleasure of being a catalyst for underrepresented colleagues to be their authentic selves in the workplace and for others to invest in them, and working across difference to create community – by building systems, inspiring investment, and cultivating connections. With a people-centric, metrics-driven approach, Bendita also leverages her D&I, leadership development, and executive coaching capabilities to help clients achieve their D&I ambitions.

Bendita draws on her prior experiences as a large law firm lawyer financing projects in emerging markets, in-house counsel at two global financial institutions, a diversity consultant for large and mid-size organizations, and a certified professional coach to cultivate change institutionally and individually.

Bendita's thought leadership and advocacy extend to being a prolific writer and speaker on D&I in the workplace, with specialized capabilities in intersectionality and LGBT+ issues. She is Treasurer of the National LGBT Bar, and contributes to the development of D&I more broadly through initiatives bringing metrics and accountability globally. Bendita serves on the editorial board of Modern Lawyer, a legal innovation publication, and also writes a regular column in that journal on diversity innovation called "First Things First." Bendita graduated from Harvard Law School and Barnard College.

Awards and recognitions


Rising Star
Super Lawyers


Who's Who in Black Dallas


Project Finance (Washington, D.C.)
Who's Who Legal

Education and admissions


Professional Coach Certification, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, 2017

J.D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 2008

B.A., Barnard College, summa cum laude, 2005


Treasurer, National LGBT Bar Association

Member, Mansfield Rule Implementation Taskforce (2018-present)

Member, Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (2017-present)

Member, Social Impact Incubator, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Board Member, Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative (2008-2018)

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia

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