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Released on Nov 1, 2023
2023 Leader on the Rise Delanté Spencer Thomas '16
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Delanté Spencer Thomas

As a law student, Delanté Spencer Thomas ’16 knew he would likely follow a non-traditional career path. He was looking for a career where he could have a positive impact on the community.  Delanté found that in 2022 when he was named the first Chief Ethics Officer for the City of Cleveland.

“I am engaged in meaningful work, in ways that feel like this is exactly what I have been working toward,” said Delanté.  “It is rewarding to know that the work we are doing is aimed at bettering our city and enriching the lives of those in our community.

For his work and leadership efforts enriching our community, Delanté is being recognized by Cleveland State University College of Law with our 2023 Leader on the Rise Award.   

“Being named CSU|LAW’s Leader on the Rise is a very special honor for me,” said Delanté. “I was once someone that some thought would not make it in law school. But not only did I make it, I am excelling and growing in the profession.”

“Delanté has been an exceptional leader during his time as a student at CSU|LAW and throughout his legal career,” explained CSU|LAW Dean Lee Fisher.  “He exemplifies for our students how legal education can be used to make a difference and we are honored to recognize Delanté as this year’s Leader on the Rise.”  

As the City’s first Chief Ethics Officer, Delanté is responsible for building a citywide ethics and compliance program, which includes training and promoting accountability across the organization’s 8,000-employee workforce. He oversees all matters invoking Ohio Ethics Laws, including but not limited to conflicts of interest, misuse of authority, unlawful contract steering, nepotism, and improper gifts/compensation. He also assists the Bibb Administration in managing police reform efforts to achieve compliance with the Federal Consent Decree.

Prior to joining City leadership, Delanté spent five years as Deputy Inspector General and later Ethics & Education Counsel for Cuyahoga County, and two years as Director of JD Advantage Advising & Outreach at Case Western Reserve University; Since 2017, he has also managed a private consulting firm – LMP Solutions, that he co-founded with his sister Danielle. As part of the legal consulting and event planning firm, he has represented clients in landlord-tenant disputes, real estate transactions, personal injury claims, small business startup/incorporation, contract disputes, and criminal defense.

Delanté is also prominently involved in Cleveland’s legal community as President of the Norman S. Minor Bar Association (NSMBA), overseeing Cleveland’s premier organization for Black legal professionals. Delanté is in his second-year of a three-year term, joining a distinguished list of professionals who have served as NSMBA president.

“I have loved my time as NSMBA president and am most proud of the bridge building we have been able to do, post-pandemic, said Delanté.  “I will forever be grateful that my colleagues had faith in me to carry the mantle of this organization.”

Since graduating from CSU|LAW in 2016, Delanté has only furthered his relationship with the law school.  He has served on the CSU|LAW Alumni Association Board of Trustees, where he has co-chaired the PR/Communications Committee, Minority Outreach Committee, as well as the Annual Recognition Luncheon. Additionally, he has served as an alumni mentor, a regular guest speaker and presenter at events and as an adjunct professor, teaching an Ohio Bar Exam Strategies and Tactics course.

Delanté will receive his Leader on the Rise award at CSU|LAW’s Hall of Fame Celebration on November 3 alongside 26 distinguished alumni, community leaders, and former faculty and staff being inducted in the Hall of Fame who have contributed to the past, present, and/or future success and reputation of CSU|LAW.  

Previous honors for Delanté include his selection as a 2021 Crain’s Cleveland 40 Under Forty honoree and as a 2022 NAACP Rising Leader awardee.

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