Katherine Simpson of Simpson Dispute Resolution in collaboration with Nancy M. Thevenin of Thevenin Arbitration & ADR have created a list of arbitration professionals of African descent.
The process of creating such a list began in February 2020 and was initially to comprise a list of African-American arbitrators, in response to their perceived absence on arbitration panels. The project was later expanded to comprise individuals who were a "person of African descent" and "with an international ADR practice that touches or will touch the US."
Requests for participation in the list were sent to various organisations and bodies, including the American Bar Association ("ABA"), Blacks of the American Society of International Law ("BASIL"), as well as different international dispute resolution email list-serves. Peer recommendation or referral was also used and each nominee to the List prepared his or her own short "bio" for publication. Updating the list with more names is a continuous and ongoing process.
It is envisaged that the “New List” will make these professionals more visible and accessible to institutions and law firms seeking individuals of colour to appoint as arbitrators, mediators, potential hires, conference speakers, or co-authors.
Many individuals on the list have an extensive international dispute resolution practice and are on the panels of several arbitral institutions. These individuals have been recognized for their dispute resolution experience in various jurisdictions including the United States.
With expertise in international arbitration ranging from labor and employment to tax and finance, the list is a reminder of the wealth of experience arbitrators of African descent can bring to international dispute resolution.
*Funke Adekoya, SAN, Partner, ǼLEX
 A New List: Arbitrators of African Descent