Keith is an entrepreneurial legal executive known for leading enterprise-wide efforts, facilitating growth and managing risk across global operations. A longtime senior lawyer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Keith has operated at the forefront of business expansion, global litigation, crisis management and response, corporate safety and security, and labor and employment-related matters. He was instrumental in developing Starwood’s global crisis management program after 9/11, and in securing its entry into the Cuban market in 2016. Keith is a results-focused and people-oriented leader, skilled at building and empowering global teams and fostering a culture that emphasizes “doing the right thing” while supporting growth.
Keith recently joined the labor and employment-focused law firm, Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP as a partner in December 2017. His practice encompasses the full panoply of employment and labor law, and his 17.5 years of in-house counsel experience has given him a unique informed perspective on clients’ needs, business priorities, and budgetary realities.
Previously, Keith was Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Starwood, a global hospitality company with properties in more than 100 countries (acquired by Marriott in 2016). During his 16+ years as Deputy General Counsel, Keith was involved in major policy-making and strategic decisions, providing legal guidance to enable growth while mitigating risk. His portfolio included litigation, internal and administrative investigations, employment and labor law, crisis management, and government affairs. He built and oversaw safety and security operations worldwide, including counter-terrorism planning. He also was a founding member of the company’s Corporate Diversity Council and the Human Rights Council, and he developed and chaired the company’s Workplace Violence Prevention Team. Keith also was the driving force behind Starwood’s campaign to open the first US-branded hotel in Cuba in more than 50 years.
After Starwood, Keith formed and became President of KDG Developmental Strategies, LLC., a consultancy that was focused on hotel development and asset management in Cuba, and labor law. He was a Trustee (since 2008) on the UNITE-HERE National Retirement Fund (“NRF”), a $2B Taft-Hartley pension fund where he also was a member of the Spin Committee. After a spin-off of assets by the NRF, he became a consultant to the newly-formed UNITE HERE Retirement Plan. He is also Chairman of the Board of REACH Prep, a Stamford-based organization dedicated to facilitating top independent school opportunities, and admission to and graduation from highly competitive colleges, for gifted and economically challenged Latino and Black students.
Before joining Starwood, Keith was a labor and employment attorney in Los Angeles, performing services for a wide variety of clients including many in the agricultural, hospitality and gaming industries.
Keith has a BA in English (magna cum laude) from Tufts University and a JD from New York University School of Law. He has been a member of the Advisory Board of the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor & Employment Relations (CIHLER), and represented Starwood on the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Industry Strategic Planning Committee.