A newly formed organization geared toward improving diversity in the legal profession has brought in a former president of the American Bar Association to manage the effort. Hunton & Williams partner Robert J. Grey Jr. has been named the interim executive director of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, formed in May by general counsel and law firm managing partners.

The purpose of the organization is to bring key decision makers together to promote diversity throughout the legal industry and to hold leaders accountable for the makeup of their legal staffs.

Grey will serve for the next six months and focus on boosting membership and establishing specific goals for the organization. He will be responsible for establishing partnerships with legal and non-legal organizations and will promote best practices for improving diversity in law firms and corporate legal departments.

“The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, and the 2008 Call to Action Summit from which the Council evolved, have created a strong foundation on which to build the organization,” Grey said in a written statement. “I look forward to working with leaders in the industry to clearly define the LCDC’s unique position in the diversity arena, and to ensure general counsel and managing partners are working together to drive the organization forward in meeting its goals.”

Grey, a member of Hunton & William’s administrative law and government relations practice group, will continue to work part time at the firm while overseeing the operations of the diversity organization. He was president of the American Bar Association in 2004 and 2005.

“Robert has the experience, the drive and expertise to lead the LCLD through this period of growth,” said Rick Palmore, chairman of the diversity group and general counsel of General Mills Inc. “He recognizes the unique opportunity our organization has to effect material change in the industry, and he is committed to ensuring our profession allows the best talent to flourish.”

Karen Sloan can be reached at karen.sloan@incisivemedia.com.