Forty Under 40: Myra McKenzie-Harris

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,912 views 

Class of 2017 Forty Under 40 Myra McKenzie-Harris Senior Associate Counsel II Wal-Mart Stores

Inspired as a child by then-Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Myra McKenzie-Harris set her sights on a legal career because she wanted to help people, especially women and minorities.

She chose the route of employment law, opting to work on the employer side rather than plaintiffs’ cases. “I wanted to make sure the system is fair from the very start and avoid people feeling mistreated in the first place,” she said.

While serving as outside counsel for Wal-Mart Stores through Porter Wright Morris & Arthur in Columbus, Ohio, McKenzie-Harris was offered a job by the retailer 10 years ago, and she saw an opportunity to have substantial influence.

“Being the largest employer in the country, Wal-Mart is uniquely positioned to have an impact on the work environments of hundreds of thousands of women and minorities and can, through its associates, ensure the fair and equitable treatment of over one million Americans,” she said.

She accepted the role of assistant general counsel and has since worked in a number of divisions within the company. She was promoted to associate counsel in 2013 and senior associate counsel II in May.

She is an active member of St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville, an officer in the local branch of the NAACP, board secretary for the Urban League of the State of Arkansas and vice president of the NWA graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

She grew up in Slidell, La., attended Spelman College in Atlanta and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and graduated University of Notre Dame Law School in 2002.

She loves to travel and has visited six continents. She and her husband live in Rogers and have one daughter, McKenna, 1.