Dawn Smith

Dawn Smith

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer

Dawn Smith is executive vice president and chief legal officer of McAfee, one of the world’s largest, pure-play cybersecurity companies.

Most recently, she served as senior vice president, chief legal officer, and secretary to the board of directors at VMware where she led the legal and government relations organization globally. During her tenure as a senior leader at VMware, Dawn’s team collaborated to win across all aspects of VMware’s strategic initiatives, ultimately powering the company’s growth, including cloud services and mobility.

After she graduated from Stanford Law School, Dawn joined Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati to practice corporate and securities law, advising start-up tech companies on all aspects of business. Dawn then became partner at Morrison & Foerster with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and debt financings, board advisory, and corporate governance.

Dawn currently serves on the board of directors of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. Her leadership has earned numerous recognitions in the field of law, including: Top 50 Women Lawyers in the U.S. by the National Diversity Council, Value Champion Award by the Association of Corporate Counsel, Most Innovative In-House Legal Team in North America, and Top 20 General Counsel by the Financial Times.

Dawn earned a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, where she also received the Vice Admiral Lawrence Award for most outstanding woman athlete for her accomplishments in fencing. As a newly commissioned officer, Dawn was chosen for the highly competitive naval nuclear submarine program founded by Admiral Hyman Rickover, and while in the Navy she earned an MBA from Providence College.