Esq. Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Programming Legal • Discovery Communications L.L.C., • Silver Spring, Md. • Age: 38
It didn’t take long for Lisa Williams-Fauntroy, Esq., to discover that she had a keen interest in both journalism and law. After a difficult first year at law school, she considered dropping out, but ultimately followed the example of her hardworking parents, James and Hazel Williams, and committed herself to the study of law and to the legal profession. “I realized that the first year was the hardest, so if I made it through that year, I figured things would get better,” says Williams-Fauntroy. “What I eventually realized was that similar challenges would face me throughout life. That first year was preparation for those challenges.”
Williams-Fauntroy obtained dual degrees in sociology and broadcast journalism from Syracuse University and a law degree from the Georgetown Law Center. In the 14 years since law school, she has carved an upward path at Discovery Communications L.L.C., which she joined after a few years at a law firm. She began her career at Discovery as a counsel in the legal affairs department. Today, as a senior vice president in the Business Affairs and Legal Team, she is the most senior African-American attorney in the company. She negotiates and drafts television programming deals and oversees legal production matters for some of Discovery’s networks, such as Planet Green, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.
Williams-Fauntroy may be hardworking but by no means is she one-dimensional. She also enjoys dancing, music, photography and community service, including serving as a fundraiser and mentor for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Last summer, she became a mother of twins — her son, Brett, and daughter, Logan — and looks forward to raising them with her husband, Michael Fauntroy. She plans to teach media law courses at undergraduate and graduate levels and pursue her love of photography.