Charlita Cardwell

Vice President and Senior Counsel, American Express

New York, NY

Charlita C. Cardwell is the ultimate corporate consigliera who builds, facilitates, transforms, and translates complexity into prose. She is a seasoned executive, master negotiator, inspirational leader, and insightful mentor.

In her role as vice president and senior counsel of American Express, Charlita is responsible for providing strategic thought leadership to American Express OPEN, the high-growth, high-performing division of American Express dedicated to helping small businesses do more business. She advises broadly on a variety of issues affecting the business. During her tenure at American Express, Charlita has lead cross-functional legal and business teams, negotiated complex digital and traditional strategic partnerships and alliances, guided clients in navigating a dynamic legal and regulatory environment while also exceeding business goals, and been a key player in launching innovative new products and initiatives, such as Small Business Saturday, as well as broadening OPEN’s business strategy to address its clients’ increasingly complex needs. Additionally, Charlita has prepared executives to testify before regulatory and legislative bodies about small business credit and the needs of small businesses amid a rapidly changing regulatory and political environment.