Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Bendita Cynthia Malakia

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Washington, D.C.

Bendita Cynthia Malakia leads Hogan Lovells' global diversity, equity and inclusion, (DEI) strategy with the aim of ensuring that historically underrepresented professionals can thrive. Bendita serves as architect and executor of the firm's DEI strategy in partnership with firm leadership and a global team of 11 DEI 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 structure for their development and success, including 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 DEI, leadership development, and executive coaching capabilities to help clients achieve their DEI 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 DEI 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 DEI 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


Commended, for racial justice initiatives
Financial Times


Who's Who in Black Dallas
Who’s Who In Black Dallas Edition


Rising Star
Super Lawyers


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


Advisory Board Member, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (2021-present)

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 (2018-present)

Treasurer, National LGBT Bar Association (2015-present)

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

Bar admissions and qualifications

District of Columbia

New York

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