"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Sean Dougherty, JD

Board Chair

Sean is an associate in Shearman & Sterling’s Capital Markets – Americas group with experience representing and advising corporate, sovereign and investment banking clients in connection with a range of public and private multi-jurisdictional offerings. The firm is a long-standing leader for high yield debt and leveraged finance and has a large market share for equity and convertible debt securities advice in the US and worldwide, along with a strong company counsel practice offering sophisticated securities law and corporate advisory services.

Prior to his role at Shearman & Sterling LLP, Sean worked with the international law firm, Linklaters, in their Hong Kong office, acting for clients across industries and the region, including various sovereigns, as a part of the firm’s award-winning capital markets practice.

Before his legal work, he served in the Office of the President of Capital One Bank as a Financial Analysis Manager. While at Capital One, he also acted as the local CFO for an award winning team that built an asset sales program that eventually executed transactions with aggregate principal value of over $10 billion. He chaired the Global Finance Department’s financial education volunteerism committee, leading the creation of a departmental service program as well.

As one of the founding board members and now board chair, Sean helped establish ICAAD and has worked to lay the foundation for the current and future growth of the organization, including facilitating some of the key relationships for the organization and providing leadership on certain key initiatives.

Sean has also served as a Board member at the Coalition for Debtor Education, a non-profit dedicated to providing financial education services to at-risk groups.

Education: Fordham, JD, cum laude (2013), Thunderbird, MBA in International Finance (2006), University of Vermont, BA in Political Science and Asian Studies, phi beta kappa (2004).

Notable Achievements (e.g. publications, awards, recognition): FT Innovative Lawyers 2014 commendation, Finance Asia Deal of the Month, Capital One Circle of Excellence and Bank One Award.


This Civil Rights and Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’d like to challenge you to reflect on how fear may have influenced your opinions, especially of others, and to take a step towards the courage to overcome those fears. Why the focus on fear you might ask?

Famed marketer and author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” outlines six typical manipulations used in sales and marketing, one of which is the use of fear. On fear, Sinek says, “When fear is being employed, facts are incidental. Deeply seated in our biological drive to survive, that emotion cannot be quickly wiped away with facts and figures.”

In the current political atmosphere, in the U.S. and around the globe, fear is often used by politicians and campaigners to polarize debates and to demonize marginalized communities, using them as scapegoats for the real economic, social, and political challenges that societies face.

Martin Luther King, Jr. understood how important fear is, so much so that he gave a sermon on it named “Antidotes for Fear.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, especially because it recognizes the importance, necessity, and creativity of fear (kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/draft-chapter-xiv-mastery-fear-or-antidotes-fear). However, particularly pertinent section was highlighted by King’s wife Coretta Scott King in her book “My life with Martin Luther King, Jr”:

“First Martin spoke of the many kinds of fear that troubled men and women in this period of change and "calamitous uncertainty"— fear of illness or economic disaster, fear of personal inadequacy in our highly competitive society. More terrible was the fear of death, even racial annihilation, in this atomic age, when the whole world teetered on "a balance of terror . . . fearful lest some diplomatic faux pas ignite a frightful holocaust."

"Some fears are normal and necessary," he said, like the fear of snakes in a jungle, but when they become neurotic and unchecked, they paralyze the will and reduce a man to apathy or despair. He quoted Emerson, who wrote, "He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear."

How, then, to overcome fear? First, Martin said, "We must un-flinchingly face our fears . . . this confrontation will, to some measure, grant us power. . . . "Second, we can master fear through one of the supreme virtues known to man— courage . . . courage is the power of the mind to overcome fear.”"

MLK Coretta Scott King Simon Sinek
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