Kim Gerber

As a first-year student, Kim was elected by her peers to represent her dorm on East Campus Council, a board that recommended housing policies and planned programming.  One of the few women represented, she was often the voice of reason, influencing decisions with a sense of duty.

She credits her grandfather as a guiding force, modeling intention and purpose.  “My grandfather passed away recently at age 95.  He was my most unrelenting supporter who never let me forget my worth. With his quiet strength, he embraced my interests and loved the people I loved without conditions. Now that he is gone, he remains the voice of reason in my head; in difficult times, I can hear him asking me three questions: ‘In making this decision, are you being the best version of yourself? Are you respecting yourself and the ones you love? Do you stand by whatever may result from this unequivocally?’ He continues to guide me, whether it's pushing me to pursue a new work opportunity, or sharing an unpopular opinion as a member of a board, or causing me to wait an extra moment before reacting to a child drawing on my table with permanent marker.”

Kim double majored in Political Science and Public Policy Studies.  She studied abroad in London and Venice and served as a Senior Editor at The Chronicle newspaper.  Kim was also selected to be a Giles Mentor for the inaugural class of Baldwin Scholars.  She earned Order of Omega honors for her leadership in the Greek community and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious academic honor society. 

While attending NYU Law, Kim acted as a student advocate with the Unemployment Action Center Law Clinic and held the Managing Editor position of the Annual Survey of American Law.

Following law school, Kim worked with the merger and acquisitions practice group at a law firm in New York.

Returning home to Miami, she continued to practice law, eventually transitioning to an in-house position in the general counsel’s office of Ryder, a transportation and logistics company.  She currently serves as General Counsel for the U.S.-based subsidiary of the world’s largest cosmetics company, L’Oreal S.A., serving on the leadership team as a trusted legal advisor.

Kim’s sense of duty to her community has remained a continuous thread.  “The day I had my first child my life changed profoundly. Because I could not be in two places at once, I had to reorganize my work and home life in every sense. I looked at my small baby and recognized that, due to nothing but sheer luck, she was born into a loving home with resources capable of caring for her physical and emotional needs -- and I knew every baby was not as lucky. I threw myself into work at non-profits and in the community to help women and children, from advocating for public education and early childhood education programs to supporting paid leave and diversity and inclusion programs. I found that after having my first child, I had to be more productive at work because I had other responsibilities pulling at me. I had to do more in less time, and at home I had to let the small things slide. The woman I am today is often exhausted but is working hard as a lawyer, mother, wife, and advocate to make this place better for the future.”

Kim volunteered with Big Brother Big Sister of Miami and currently serves on the Women United Executive Committee of United Way of Miami-Dade and as Vice President of the Board of Trustees of Temple Judea.

Kim comes back to campus regularly with her group of Duke girlfriends and reflects back on her experience.  She advises first-year women to explore opportunities.  “Duke is an intellectual Las Vegas buffet. It can feel overwhelming at times because there are so many choices. Taste a bit of everything to see what you like before filling your plate with big servings. You'll learn what nourishes and motivates you, and that will define your college experience and set you on your future career path. Thousands of Duke alumnae are rooting you on and believe in you."

photo of Kim Gerber