YANERIS M. ROSA
Assistant General Counsel, Honeywell International Inc.
Yaneris M. Rosa who was born in the Dominican Republic, recalls her earliest memories telling anyone who would listen that she wanted to be a lawyer. Rosa and her mother left their native country seeking a better life when she was 10 years old.
Her experiences as an immigrant heightened her interest in a career
as an attorney. “After seeing and experiencing discrimination and
unfair treatment, I saw the legal system as a remedy for some of these
difficulties,” she said.
About a month after graduating from Harvard
law school, Rosa delivered her first child and
moved to Long Island, New York in order for her
mom to help with her new daughter while she
tackled working as a corporate associate at the
law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New
York City. During her time at the firm, Yaneris also
served as member of the Simpson Thacher Diver-
sity Committee Advisory Council and managed
pro bono matters. After a few years of daily com-
muting three hours round trip from Long Island,
Rosa was able to land an opportunity working
as Assistant General Counsel of Planet Payment,
Inc., a start-up located about 10 minutes from
her home, allowing more work-life balance.
“I jumped on the opportunity despite the pay
cut associated with moving in-house. I selected
this company because I was intrigued by their credit card processing
technology. During my tenure at Planet Payment, I worked on a variety
of transactions and was also fortunate to work on the company’s IPO
and listing on the NASDAQ. It was also fun being able to ring the closing
bell at NASDAQ with my colleagues on the day that we listed the com-
pany,” Rosa said.
Rosa set her sights on working for a Fortune® 100 company but
didn’t want to go back to commuting from Long Island into Manhat-tan. She found the perfect opportunity at Honeywell, as assistant general counsel of Honeywell Security Group, a business headquartered in
“I’ve been working at Honeywell since 2014. I started as assistant
general counsel of Honeywell Security Group. In 2015 Honeywell combined its security business, located in Long Island, with its fire business
headquartered in Connecticut and I represented the legal department
in the integration team responsible for integrating the two businesses.
My role has also grown as a result of acquisitions and integration of
companies that didn’t have their own in-house legal departments.
My favorite part of the job is facilitating our transformation from a
traditional hardware company to a software industrial and working
on cutting-edge technologies in the space of connected home and
connected buildings and internet of things. I am happy that I’ve been
able to stay in the field of technology because it is an ever-evolving
practice,” she said.
Echoing the message that in-house counsel and outside counsel
must understand the core business of their internal and external
clients, Rosa sees herself as a business leader. “I work very closely
with the business and I serve as a business person who happens to
be a lawyer. I am very passionate about our technologies. Honeywell
invents and manufactures technologies that address some of the
world’s most critical challenges around energy, safety, security, productivity and global urbanization. We are uniquely positioned to blend
physical products with software to support connected systems that
improve homes and buildings and that enable a safer, more comfortable and more productive world. Our solutions enhance the quality
of life of people around the globe and create new markets and even
new industries. Honeywell’s innovative technologies are making our
world cleaner and more sustainable, more secure, connected, energy
efficient, and productive,” she said.
Rosa’s efforts to combat the lack of diversity in the legal profession
means that she is aligning her professional activities inside and outside
the company with diversity and inclusion initiatives and organizations
that focus on D&I.
“Since the beginning of my career, I’ve been committed to diversity
and inclusion efforts and consider it my duty to create opportunities for
individuals who come from similar backgrounds as myself. I currently
serve as one of leaders of the Honeywell Law & Government Relations
Diversity and Inclusion Council, which aligns with my commitment to
support and actively promote diversity in the legal profession. I was
also selected by Honeywell’s leadership to serve as a member of the
Home and Buildings Technologies Diversity Council, a cross functional
diversity council responsible for the diversity initiatives of the business,” she said. Through her leadership in the diversity and inclusion
councils, Rosa also strives to make an impact in the community by
aligning service efforts with Honeywell Hometown Solutions, the company’s corporate citizenship and social responsibility program.
Don’t be surprised one day if you see Rosa move from the general
counselor position to chief diversity officer for a Fortune® 500 company.
We asked all of our Rising Stars what they would be if they were not
lawyers. Rosa’s reply: “I’ve always been committed to diversity and inclusion and I am leading the way in advocating for a diverse workforce.
I understand that a diverse culture provides a competitive advantage
that enables our global teams to generate new and better ideas faster
and to more effectively collaborate and innovate. I would love the opportunity to have an even greater impact on diversity efforts,” she said.
Yaneris is active with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association the
Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity and serves on various non-profit
boards. Yaneris serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Legal
Education Opportunity (CLEO), which is committed to expanding legal
education opportunities to minority, low-income and disadvantaged
groups. She earned her JD from Harvard Law School and her undergraduate degree from Cornell University. She was the first member of
her extended family to earn undergraduate and law degrees.