Biography of Gloria Santona, JD

Gloria Santona is Of Counsel in the Chicago office of the law firm of Baker & McKenzie.  In that capacity, sheworks closely with the firm's practitioners in delivering high-value legal services focused on clients' business needs.  In addition, she is involved with the firm's diversity and inclusion efforts and contributes to its industry-focused client initiatives, particularly in the Food & Beverage and Consumer Goods and Retail sectors.  She is admitted to the practice of law in Illinois.


Ms. Santona received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and a J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School.  She joined McDonald’s Corporation as an attorney shortly after her graduation from law school and subsequently held roles of increasing responsibility in the company’s legal department, culminating with the position of Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, in which capacity she served from 2001 until 2017.  In that role, she led a team of more than 200 lawyers in 15 countries managing the company’s worldwide legal, compliance, regulatory and corporate governance functions.  As part of McDonald’s senior leadership team, she was also actively involved in the company’s strategic direction and growth.  


Widely respected in the legal profession, Ms. Santona was named an Outstanding General Counsel by the National Law Journal several times and has been recognized as one of America's Top General Counsel by Corporate Board Member magazine.


Currently, Ms. Santona is a member of the Board of Directors of Aon plc, serving on its Audit and Governance Committees and is Chairman of its Compliance Committee.  She is a trustee of Rush University Medical Center and is Vice Chairman of its Audit Committee.  She also serves on the leadership board of the National Immigrant Justice Center and the executive board of the Women’s Leadership Institute at Michigan State University.  In the past, Ms. Santona served on Legal Services Corporation’s Pro Bono Task Force and was a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.  She is currently a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of General Counsel, the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Society for Corporate Governance.


A frequent speaker on topics relating to corporate governance, diversity and inclusion, leadership and sustainability, Ms. Santona is the recipient of many awards including the Women of Achievement Award from the Anti-Defamation League, Midwest Light of Human Rights Award from the National Immigrant Justice Center, Mary V. Orozco Abriendo Caminos Award from the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Lucero Award from Latino Justice PRLDEF and Direct Women’s Sandra Day O’Connor Excellence Award.

Gloria is on LinkedIn at

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