Jo Giessler Weiss

Head of Global Citizenship, New York



As Head of Global Citizenship at White & Case, Jo leads the strategic development and oversees the operations of the Firm's global pro bono practice, legal education programs, charitable contributions, volunteer activities and environmental sustainability initiative. Jo also serves as managing editor for the Firm’s communications on global citizenship, including the annual Global Citizenship Review and website. She chairs the Firm's Green Operations Committee.

Jo has extensive experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining White & Case, she was Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, where she led the creation of the Firm's first global strategic philanthropy initiative, which encompassed foundation and corporate grants, volunteering and pro bono assistance, and nonprofit board service training and placement. She led a global team of 11 and managed total giving of more than US$30 million. Jo served as vice president of The Lehman Brothers Foundation, which focused on underprivileged children, healthcare and the arts. She was instrumental in the Firm's participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project.

She was Vice President of Advisory Services and a member of the Executive Committee at Catalyst, Inc., the leading global nonprofit on gender diversity in business. She created the global advisory services practice, which helps leading companies recruit, retain and develop diverse talent. Jo led three departments (advisory services, development, corporate board placement) representing US$8.5 million of the organization’s total US$9 million budget. She was a frequent speaker on diversity issues in the United States, Europe and Asia.

As a consultant and engagement manager at McKinsey & Co. in the financial institutions group for more than five years, Jo led Fortune 100 client teams in designing and implementing operational and strategic initiatives, developing special expertise in change management.

Jo was also a member of the senior leadership team of the New York City Opera.  At the request of the General Director, she evaluated and redesigned all arts education programming for schools and general audiences and subsequently instituted the first full-time Education Department and first Board Committee for Education. Jo directed a company of more than 25 artists and collaborated with individuals in the arts, education and other constituencies to create, produce and fund Opera is Elementary (four-year cycle of abridged operatic masterworks) and the High School Partnership, which served more than 10,000 students in grades Kindergarden–12.

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Wittenberg University


Speaking Engagements

"Pro Bono in the U.K.: Meeting Need, Maximizing Impact", November 5–7, 2014: 2014 European Pro Bono Forum, London, (panelist)

Remarks at A4ID event to launch its new "NGO Health Check" tool, developed in collaboration with White & Case, London, November 4, 2014