Cisco Executive Dev Stahlkopf (‘99) Named 2021 Alumna of the Year

Nov. 9, 2021
Dev Stahlkopf

Dev Stahlkopf (‘99), executive vice president and chief legal officer at Cisco, has been named the 2020-2021 Arizona Alumni Association Alumna of the Year for the James E. Rogers College of Law, in recognition of her outstanding career and her leadership in diversity and corporate social responsibility.  

Stahlkopf is a strong advocate for diversity, is deeply focused on driving innovation in the legal profession and is passionate about building the next generation of leaders. 

“In the relatively short time since she graduated from the James E. Rogers College of Law, Dev Stahlkopf has demonstrated leadership across cutting-edge issues of law and management,” wrote Arizona Law Dean Marc Miller in in Stahlkopf’s nomination letter. “In her roles, in some of the world’s largest and most interesting companies, she wrestles with a vast array of legal challenges including issues of privacy, security, intellectual property, and labor that are defining our times.” 

In a blog post announcing her hiring, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Systems Chuck Robbins wrote, “In addition to the vast business, legal and strategic experience Dev brings, she also understands and values the importance of culture and building great teams at scale. Throughout her career, she has successfully driven strategies to attract and retain top legal talent while fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusion. Dev is also deeply focused on driving innovation in the legal profession as well as pro bono legal services to bridge the justice divide and help those without access. She is a strong advocate for diversity in the legal profession and is passionate about building the next generation of leaders.” 

Prior to joining Cisco in August, Stahlkopf held various senior roles during 14 years at Microsoft, most recently as corporate vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. She also previously practiced law in the Seattle area at Perkins Coie, specializing in employment and labor law, and at Cooley Godward, focusing on corporate and technology transactions. 

At Microsoft, Stahlkopf oversaw matters related to data privacy and advanced the company's efforts to increase diversity at its outside counsel law firms. Stahlkopf also led the charge on Microsoft’s paid parental leave policy for its contractors. First in 2015, requiring suppliers who do substantial business with Microsoft to provide 15 days of paid time off for employees. An additional policy implemented in 2018 mandated that contractors provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave to its employees. 

Stahlkopf was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in 2019 for her inspiring and bold efforts. 

She told Fast Company, “I’m a working mom with two boys, so this was personal. Having access to paid parental leave allowed me to progress in my career, and I’m proud to work for a company that not only provides world-class benefits to its employees but uses its power to create a positive impact outside of its walls.”  

In an interview with Law360, Stahlkopf said culture, data that measures progress, accountability and collaboration throughout the legal industry are key to moving the needle on diversity and inclusion in the profession.  

Stahlkopf currently sits on the boards of several organizations including the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a coalition of leaders in the legal industry working to build a more open and diverse legal profession. She also serves on the Corporate Pro Bono Institute advisory board, working to help close the gap in access to justice and help those in need of pro bono legal services. 

During her time as a student at Arizona Law, Stahlkopf was managing editor of the Arizona Law Review. Following graduation, she clerked for Honorable William D. Browning in the US District Court of Arizona.  

“Dev was a truly extraordinary law student, so it is not surprising to see how she has excelled in her career,” wrote Regents Professor and Dean Emerita Toni Massaro in Stahlkopf’s nomination letter. “Her remarkable analytical skills combined a philosopher's appreciation of theory, with a lawyer's appreciation of how context, institutions, and the people who apply and are affected by law, matter.” 

Stahlkopf received her law degree from the University of Arizona, a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Duke University, and undergraduate degrees in English and Philosophy from the University of Washington.  

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