Pam Rosado’s career journey has been marked by multiple twists and turns, but Rosado—a senior vice president as well as the chief counsel for litigation and special investigations at MetLife—wouldn’t have it any other way. “To me, those turns are representative of both learning and fulfillment,” she says.
One of Rosado’s earliest turning points occurred in college, which she entered with aspirations of becoming a doctor. “Growing up, I never thought about being a lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor, and that was true until my junior year of college,” she recalls. But when Rosado enrolled in organic chemistry, her plans changed. “Up until I took organic chemistry, I thought I was very much a math and science person,” she says with a laugh. “But that class took me off the science track for good.”
With a budding interest in community service and more time to invest in that interest, Rosado joined her university’s student government. In her junior year, she cofounded her university’s Habitat for Humanity program and served as the president of the Latin American Students Association. During her senior year, Rosado served as the president of the United Minorities Council, an organization encompassing all of the diverse student government groups on campus.
“Those experiences really crystallized, for me, the importance and the power of community service,” the SVP reflects. “It also sharpened my focus on racial disparities and injustices. Ultimately, it caused me to think about how I could have the most impact moving forward.” Rosado quickly pivoted from dreams of medical school to enrolling in law school.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, Rosado took a position as an employment lawyer for AXA Equitable, where she spent the next fifteen years of her career. While at AXA, Rosado was placed on two different expat assignments—the first, a nine-month assignment in Mexico where she served as the head of litigation, and the second, a two-year general counsel position in Madrid. “Both of those experiences arose by and large because of my ability to work effectively in both English and Spanish,” she explains. Rosado is a first-generation Colombian American, and she believes that embracing all parts of her identity—language, cultural origins, thoughts, and experiences—is what informs her actions as both a lawyer and a leader.
Now, as SVP and chief counsel at global insurance provider MetLife, Rosado strives to embrace all facets of her diverse experiences and heritage, as well as those of her team. “My goal as a senior leader is to make sure that we have a diverse organization in all of its forms, and to ensure that I am helping to create and maintain a welcoming environment where people can share their thoughts, ideas, and goals,” she says.
To foster that type of environment, Rosado strives to embody three key qualities she believes are critical to effective leadership: empathy, integrity, and authenticity. “To me, empathy goes beyond understanding or sharing the feelings of others. To really have empathy, you have to listen,” she points out.
According to Rosado, when leaders listen to understand rather than to respond, they can appreciate a fuller breadth of the challenges that their business partners or team members are facing. From there, she explains, it is possible to build out strategies to eliminate any obstacles that may stand in a business partner or team member’s way.
“[E]mpathy goes beyond understanding or sharing the feelings of others. To really have empathy, you have to listen.”
But empathy alone doesn’t drive success. “The basis of every good relationship—business or personal—is integrity,” Rosado emphasizes. “My commitment to my team and business partners is to be honest, even when my message is difficult to hear or I don’t know all of the answers.
“Authenticity, and showing up as one’s true self, is related to integrity,” she adds. “I really believe that we are all wonderfully unique and have something valuable to contribute.” She attributes the successes of her team to the fact that people feel comfortable bringing all aspects of their personality to work. Those aspects inform each individual’s unique perspective when brainstorming solutions or problem-solving. “When I think about MetLife in particular and how we serve more than forty countries around the world, I have to also think about how we can be effective in serving that breadth of customers. We really do need to leverage the diversity of employees within the organization,” Rosado says.
In addition to creating an inclusive environment for her team members, Rosado is dedicated to helping her team attain their personal and professional goals—in any way possible. As she explains, she herself has benefited from past managers and mentors who made her professional development a priority.
“I view my career successes as my former managers’ successes, and that is the spirit in which I approach my team,” the SVP says. “I view it as my responsibility to pay my experiences forward, and I am committed to helping my team members reach their goals regardless of where they are in their careers.”
Pros at Pro Bono
In addition to her responsibilities leading MetLife’s Litigation and Special Investigations team, Pam Rosado serves on the law department’s pro bono committee. Recently, Rosado and the committee partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative and Sidley Austin to provide legal research in support of requests for new trials in two capital cases where criminal defendants had been sentenced to death. She also assisted in the Safe Passage Project, where volunteers provided translation services to children who had entered the US seeking asylum. “For me, one of the most gratifying things to see is that the COVID-19 pandemic did not slow our pro bono efforts one bit,” Rosado says proudly. “If anything, there has been a resurgence in engagement.”
“Maynard celebrates our friend and client, Pam Rosado, for her forward-thinking and relentless drive as MetLife’s senior vice president and chief counsel, litigation & special investigations. We look forward to partnering with Pam and her team as we continue the firm’s thirty-year relationship with MetLife.” –Ted Holt, Chair of Maynard’s Insurance Practice