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MLA Places Valerie Workman as Handshake’s First Chief Legal Officer

Hanover, MD (March 10, 2022) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Valerie Workman as chief legal officer at Handshake in San Francisco. The search was conducted by Nicole Lipman, partner, and Anna Gorodetsky, managing director, both with MLA’s In-House Counsel Recruiting group in San Francisco.

Handshake is the largest early career network, helping millions of students from all backgrounds get hired and launch their careers with no connections, experience or luck required. The Handshake community includes 18 million students and young alumni from 1,200 educational institutions including four-year colleges, community colleges, and boot camps, including 120+ minority-serving institutions.

As general counsel, Valerie will play an essential role in developing and driving Handshake’s legal affairs and strategy and will build out the legal function to support Handshake’s rapidly growing business.

“Valerie is a wonderful fit for Handshake’s general counsel role. Her legal and human resources career, as well as her personal passions, align very well with Handshake’s mission,” said Nicole Lipman. “Valerie has been a champion for diversity throughout her tenure at Tesla and will now have an opportunity to affect change at the ground level by helping to democratize access to job opportunities for students of all races, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. We are thrilled for both Valerie and Handshake,” added Anna Gorodetsky.

Valerie joins Handshake after spending four years at Tesla, the first two as associate general counsel and the last two as vice president of people, where she re-designed the people function while doubling Tesla’s worldwide workforce. She was also instrumental in growing and shaping the company’s DEI function and establishing an infrastructure that supported inclusivity and celebrated the Whole Self. Prior to Tesla, she was vice president of legal for FOCUS Brands, advising on legal matters and third-party risk issue management for the FOCUS’ global brands, subsidiaries and affiliates. Valerie has also held senior legal, HR and compliance level roles with Realogy Holdings Corp., Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and KPMG. Valerie earned her J.D. from St. John’s University of Law and her B.S. from Syracuse University.

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