Meet Helen Forbes Fields

Helen Forbes Fields
Helen Forbes Fields joined United Way of Greater Cleveland as Vice President of Community Impact and General Counsel on October 17, 2016. Ms. Forbes Fields will oversee United Way’s program investments and the Community Impact agenda, which is currently being evaluated through a community needs assessment. Her position requires building and maintaining relationships with external partners such as agencies, organizations, volunteers and donors to make a measurable difference in the quality of life for those in the Greater Cleveland community. Ms. Forbes Fields will also advise on legal matters and initiatives.

Prior to joining United Way, Ms. Forbes Fields was a Partner at Forbes, Fields & Associates Co. LPA where she was active in the firm’s public law and municipal finance practice. Ms. Forbes Fields has been involved in various public and privately placed issuance of revenue bonds and general obligation bonds for the State of Ohio and its political subdivisions, the Board of Education of the City of Cleveland School District, Ohio and other cities and counties in the United States. She has served as Law Director to the City of East Cleveland, Ohio in 1997 and 2005. While serving as Law Director, Ms. Forbes Fields represented the City in matters regarding issuing legal opinions, preparing or approving all contracts, ordinances and resolutions. She also represented the City while negotiating collective bargaining agreements and defended the City successfully on various Unfair Labor Practice claims. While at Forbes, Fields her concentration was in the area of litigation including employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and labor law.

Ms. Forbes Fields has previously served on United Way’s Community Impact Committee and currently serves on boards for Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Museum of Art, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children board of trustees, among others. Forbes Fields received a B.A. in political science from Spelman College and law degree from Howard University School of Law.

Ms. Forbes Fields graduated Cum Laude in 1981 from Spelman College with a B.A. degree in Political Science and received her J.D. in 1984 from Howard University School of Law. She also attended Loyola University Summer Law School, Rome, Italy, in 1983.

Ms. Forbes Fields has been admitted to practice before the Ohio Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and the United States Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit. She is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, where she serves on the Bar Admissions Committee. Ms. Forbes Fields has been profiled in several magazine publications for her community and civic interests. She is a graduate of Leadership Cleveland, Class of 1994. She has served as Member of the Transition Committee for Armond Budish, Cuyahoga County Executive. She has served on several boards throughout the City of Cleveland, including Karamu House, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Cleveland Zoological Society, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Scholarship Program, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Allocations Panel Member of United Way and the Cleveland Arts Prize. Currently, she serves as a Trustee for the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cuyahoga Community College and the Advisory Committee for the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. She is a Governor appointee to the City of East Cleveland Financial Planning and Supervision Commission. Ms. Forbes Fields is married to Darrell A. Fields and they have two sons and one daughter, William, Camille and Brandon.

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