SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Joyce Payne Yette, a 1980 Wofford College alumna and chief legal officer of Promontory Financial Group in Washington, D.C., will be the featured speaker at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, for the college’s opening convocation. The program, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.
Opening convocation marks the beginning of the new academic year. Classes at Wofford began Monday.
As chief legal officer for Promontory Financial Group, an IBM company, Yette is responsible for overseeing its legal affairs around the world. Promontory is a global consulting firm specializing in helping companies manage complex risks and meet regulatory compliance requirements. Yette also is a member of the firm’s Risk and
Yette began her career at Covington & Burling in Washington, where she specialized in commercial real estate; her practice included complex projects throughout North America. She later was associate general counsel for the Washington Area Transit Authority, where she worked on the structuring and financing of the agency’s public and private community development projects. These projects helped to transform and revitalize neighborhoods and communities throughout the metropolitan D.C. area.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Wofford, Yette attended Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the board of student advisers and comments editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. After law school, she clerked on the U.S. Federal District Court in Boston, Massachusetts.
As a first-generation college graduate, Yette is passionate about higher education and the opportunities it affords. At each step in her career, she has mentored other first-generation college students to help ensure their successful transition from school to work to community service.
Currently, Yette serves on the Wofford Board of Trustees, the board of trustees of McDaniel College and the board of directors of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO). She also is on the advisory board of Neighborhood Legal Services.