| Marriott International
Executive vice president and general counsel
Rena Hozore Reiss, executive vice president and general counsel of Marriott International, rejoined Marriott as general counsel in December 2017. She had served as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Hyatt Hotels Corporation from August 2010 to October 2017. Prior to joining Hyatt, she was a senior vice president and associate general counsel with Marriott overseeing the legal team that supported hotel development in the Americas. She joined Marriott as a development lawyer in 2000, and assumed increasingly responsible positions during her initial 10 years there. Prior to joining Marriott, she was a real estate associate and then partner at the Washington DC firm of Counts & Kanne, Chartered, an associate general counsel at the Miami Herald Publishing Company, and an associate at the Miami firm of Thomson, Muraro, Razook & Hart. Reiss is a highly talented in-house lawyer with an aptitude for team building, international management and problem solving. She identifies that ‘sitting as a member of the senior leadership team, I love having a broader lens on the company. I deeply believe that the legal function must be an integral part of the company, rather than viewed as standing in opposition to what the company is doing. Of course I am there as the company’s lawyer, but equally important is my role as a senior executive, along with my peers, looking after the company’s strategy and business imperatives’. During her tenure the legal team has grown its expertise and added resources in areas of growing importance and significant change, including business ventures, information technology, compliance, data privacy and cybersecurity. Marriott is one of the world’s largest hotel and resort companies operating in almost 150 countries. Reiss is capably at the helm of its international legal department and enjoys helping the business thrive. She highlights that, ‘you learn that the difference between a “business decision” and a “legal decision” dissolves quickly; a good in-house lawyer views these issues holistically. Being an effective in-house counsel means understanding the business and building relationships at all levels. It requires establishing credibility with colleagues throughout the company and demonstrating that you are rowing in the same direction, motivated by the same desire for the company to succeed’.