Nicole Kelsey joined Amyris, the innovative bioscience company, as General Counsel and Secretary, in August 2017. In her second public company General Counsel role, Ms. Kelsey is a seasoned, multi-lingual executive with international expertise in strategy, M&A, complex commercial transactions and financings, U.S. securities laws, and multi-jurisdictional corporate governance standards. She brings her expertise to bear for both Fortune 500 and disruptive technology companies.
A Wall Street-trained lawyer with over 25 years of experience in global growth-oriented companies, Ms. Kelsey impacts strategic change by building operations and growing product sales in new geographies; steering her companies through complex commercial and securities litigation and investigations; managing regulatory landscapes for new product lines across distinct geographies; developing an international IP strategy for diverse R&D capacities; establishing best corporate governance practices for the Board and executive management; and establishing global compliance programs. Awarded the 2019 Female Executive of the Year Award from Databird Business Journal in March 2020, Ms. Kelsey’s leadership style is distinguished by her ability to build, develop, and inspire best-in-class teams to excellence. Half French-Algerian and a champion of diversity, she spearheaded the first diversity and inclusion initiative at Amyris in early 2019. Ms. Kelsey actively mentors both women and men; and as a member of the board of Amyris’s women’s group, fostered the launch of her company’s first mentoring program for women, by women, in the summer of 2020. Ms. Kelsey speaks on DEI, mentoring, and other leadership topics throughout the legal and technology communities in the U.S. and abroad.
Prior to joining Amyris, Ms. Kelsey was General Counsel and Secretary to Criteo, a leader in the ad/marketing technology industry with headquarters in Paris and offices in 30 cities across the globe, for over three years. Before her GC role at Criteo, Ms. Kelsey was the senior securities lawyer for Medtronic, the head M&A lawyer for CIT Group Inc., the general counsel of a private art financing fund, and the US securities and M&A lawyer for international conglomerate Vivendi. Ms. Kelsey first practiced with the firms of White & Case and Willkie, Farr & Gallagher, in New York and Paris.
Avidly interested in the arts, and an entrepreneur in her own right, Ms. Kelsey founded and operated an art gallery out of her NYC home from 2001 – 2005. A strong believer in an executive leader’s obligation to give back to the community, she served on the boards of several non-profit arts organizations from 2004 – 2014. In April 2019, she continued her commitment to pro bono work by joining the board of directors of A Window Between Worlds, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization that provides art therapy training and resources to community outreach programs assisting women and children survivors of violence, and serves as the Chair of its Nomination and Governance Committee. And in August 2020, she joined the Board of Trustees, and was appointed the Secretary, of Wrestle Like A Girl, whose mission is to empower girls and women through the sport of wrestling to become leaders in life.
A Fulbright scholar, Ms. Kelsey has a J.D. from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a B.A. from The Ohio State University, and is admitted to practice law in both New York and Minnesota. Ms. Kelsey speaks four languages and is currently studying Japanese, and is rearing her daughter as a bi-lingual international citizen. A native of California and a passionate surfer, Ms. Kelsey enjoys the rich intersection of the arts community and outdoor activities that living in San Francisco offers her family.