Wanji Walcott, SVP, General Counsel, PayPal
Wanji Walcott is Managing Counsel in the General Counsel’s Office of American Express Company. She leads a team that has global responsibility for providing legal support to the Enterprise Growth Group, American Express Technologies and Global Business Services. Wanji’s team counsels and supports clients on digital commerce issues, online and mobile payment initiatives, tech-related legal issues in mergers & acquisitions, as well as outsourcing, telecommunications and other technology transactions. Wanji was the former co-chair of the US Diversity Council and a recipient of the Top Owners Award, American Express Technologies’ highest recognition for performance. Prior to her position at American Express, she practiced law at the international law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (formerly Shaw Pittman LLP) where she specialized in negotiating a broad range of technology transactions. She received a B.A. and a J.D. from Howard University. Ms. Walcott, having a strong commitment to supporting the community, co-founded American Express’s pro bono program and was honored by the Lawyer’s Alliance of New York with the 2003 Cornerstone Award and the City Bar Justice Center in 2006 for superior pro bono legal work for not-for-profit corporations. Among her many volunteer activities; Ms. Walcott is a founding member of the Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Coordinators, serves on the Board of Trustees at the Middlesex School, where she chairs the Audit Committee, and the NY City Bar Fund, where she chairs the Program Committee.
Franz Paasche, SVP, Corporate Affairs, PayPal
As Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications, Franz W. Paasche leads PayPal’s global external and internal communications functions and the company’s global government relations and public policy activities which contribute to the company’s overall Business Affairs mandate. He also is responsible for leading PayPal’s Social Innovation efforts to drive positive social impact and make a difference for consumers, businesses and communities around the world. In this role, Franz brings over 25 years of experience extensive expertise in corporate, communications, government, legal and public affairs domains to PayPal’s expanding global network.
Before joining PayPal, Franz served as Head of External Relations for North America for McKinsey & Company, where he was responsible for external relations, public affairs, strategic communications and reputation risk, and oversaw issues management, thought leadership initiatives, and knowledge relationships across McKinsey’s Americas region. In addition, he served on the firm’s Global Communications and Publishing Executive Committee and provided counsel to McKinsey’s senior leadership and practice leaders.
Prior to McKinsey, Franz was a Senior Partner at Communications Consulting Worldwide, Fleishman Hillard’s multi-disciplinary strategic communications firm. Head of the firm’s leadership communications practice, he provided counsel to a wide range of global and national companies and institutions on reputation management, strategic leadership communications, brand development, public affairs and crisis communications.
In addition, Franz has been a Managing Director of the New York strategic communications firm Clark & Weinstock; General Counsel and Executive Vice President at the real-time financial information and technology company Market Data Corporation; and a litigator with the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He’s a former staff member for Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and has served as a lecturer on Leadership in Communications at Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education.
Franz graduated from Swarthmore College with High Honors in Political Science, English Literature and American Economic History. He received his law degree from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He is a member of the Bar in New York State and in New York City. He also is a member of the Arthur Page Society and in 2016 was named on the Holmes Report Influence 100 list of the industry’s most influential corporate communications executives.