Lauren Stiller Rikleen brings an extraordinary background to her work as President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership as an author, former law firm partner, mediator, and a leader in professional and community organizations.
Since August 2020, Lauren has also served on the Board of Lawyers Defending American Democracy and has been its interim executive director since September 2021. LDAD’s mission is to galvanize the legal profession to protect democracy and the rule of law.
As a former law firm equity partner, Lauren managed a diverse environmental law practice, bringing her strategic and negotiating skills to her clients’ enforcement and compliance problems. She is also an experienced mediator. For two decades, Lauren was selected by her peers to be listed in Best Lawyers in America. She has also been included in Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers and in Massachusetts Super Lawyers.
Lauren is the author of four books. The Shield of Silence: How Power Perpetuates a Culture of Harassment and Bullying in the Workplace combines detailed research, extensive interviews, and strategic recommendations for addressing workplace misconduct and the silence that fuels it. The book compellingly argues that sexual harassment and misconduct will not be stopped unless the condition that drives victims and bystanders into silence—the overriding fear that reporting misconduct will result in retaliation—is eliminated. A must-read for anyone interested in stopping harassment and negative behaviors, The Shield of Silence documents the link between the creation of a respectful, inclusive, and diverse workplace culture and the elimination of negative workplace behaviors.
You Raised Us - Now Work With Us: Millennials, Career Success, and Building Strong Workplace Teams provides a nuanced perspective and rebuts old stereotypes about Millennials, offering practical recommendations for all generations to strengthen workplace relationships and promote organizational excellence. Since the publication of this widely acclaimed book, Lauren has been invited to speak and has been interviewed by publications across the country about her insights into today’s multi-generational workplace.
Lauren’s two other books focus on the legal profession. Ladder Down: Success Strategies For Lawyers From Women Who Will Be Hiring, Reviewing, And Promoting You offers lawyers – and law students – a guidepost for meeting the challenges of the legal profession with enthusiasm. It is written for both women and men who seek a satisfying career in the law.
The advice and strategies offered in Ladder Down evolved from the challenges identified by Lauren in Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women’s Success in the Law. This ground-breaking book details institutional impediments to women’s advancement in the legal profession and offers concrete recommendations for change.
Lauren is the author of more than 200 articles, including topical commentary and op-ed pieces. She has written for or been interviewed by such publications and media outlets as: Fortune.com; the Harvard Business Review; BBC; Public Media’s Next Avenue; The Washington Post; The Boston Globe; The New York Times; MSNBC; National Public Radio; The American Lawyer; The National Law Journal; Forbes Woman; the Careerist; WBZ Radio; New England Cable News Network; The Boston Business Journal; Law 360; the New York Lawyer; Glass Hammer; Monster’s Legal Career Center; and Know Magazine.
Within the American Bar Association, Lauren is Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. Among many other ABA roles, Lauren has served as a member of the Board of Governors, as a Special Advisor to the American Bar Foundation Board, as Chair of the Section of Civil Rights & Social Justice, and as a member of the ABA Journal Board of Editors.
Lauren’s business leadership roles include serving for 17 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Middlesex Savings Bank and as the first woman to chair the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce. She is also a former president of the Boston Bar Association and a former trustee of Clark University.
In other community leadership roles, Lauren served for 14 years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, a non-partisan organization devoted to helping women seek elected office. She helped create and served as president of two local charities: one providing services for victims of domestic violence and the other transporting donated food and personal care items to local shelters and pantries. Lauren is also a founding member of the Council for Women of Boston College and former chair and long-time Board member of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.
Lauren is the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious 2017 American Bar Association Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. She was also named by Public Media’s Next Avenue as one of the 50 Most Influential People in Aging.
Among her other honors, Lauren was selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly to its Circle of Excellence - Top Women of Law, received the “Friend of the Division” Award from the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association for her guidance, support, and mentorship, and was honored by the Boston College Law School Women’s Law Center as its Woman of the Year. She was also a Leading Women Award recipient from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, a recipient of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Women of Justice Award, the Barbara Gray Humanitarian Award from Voices Against Violence, the Lelia J. Robinson Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts, the Boston College Alumni Award for Excellence in Law, and the Boston College Law School 75th Anniversary Alumni Medal. The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce named her Business Leader of the Year, and she was a winner of its Athena Award.