Fortune Global-ranked Itochu Corporation out of Japan made history this month by announcing the appointment of Mitsuru Claire (Ike) Chino ’91 as an executive officer. When she assumes her new position in April, Chino will become the first female executive officer of any major trading company in Japan, as well as the youngest.
Currently serving as the deputy general manager of Itochu’s legal division, Chino joined the company in 2000 and has been a champion for women’s causes there; among her achievements was helping to start a corporate diversity program in 2004.
“It is my tremendous honor and privilege to be named the first female executive officer of any major Japanese trading company,” says Chino. “I view this appointment not so much as my personal achievement but rather as a manifestation of the increased importance the in-house legal function plays in this global day and age.”
Over the past decade, she has been recognized as a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum, as one of 100 "Japanese Women Recognized by the World" by Newsweek Japan, and as one of the top twenty-five in-house counsels in Asia by Asia Legal Business. She serves on the Cornell Law School Advisory Council and has taught at the Law School as a visiting professor and distinguished practitioner in residence. She is active with the Inter-Pacific Bar Association and lectures at Keio Law School and Hitotsubashi Business School. She is also a semi-professional classical singer.
“Claire Chino has had a stellar legal career, filled with firsts," said Stewart J. Schwab, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law. "We at Cornell Law School are so proud to have her as an alumna. I am confident she will excel in this new first role.”
Chino adds, “I am forever grateful to the well balanced theoretical and practical legal training I received at Cornell Law School, which has served as a solid foundation in my career.”