Photo of Hope Mehlman Hope Mehlman

Executive Vice President, CLO, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Discover Financial Services

Hope has more than 20 years of leadership experience in both public and private companies. She is an industry leader in corporate governance and has extensive experience in retail and commercial banking, regulatory and compliance matters, cybersecurity, M&A, public policy, litigation, risk management, payments, complex transactions, securities, shareholder relations, executive compensation, Environmental Social Governance, and Intellectual Property.

Hope joined Discover Financial Services in 2023 as Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary and is a member of the Executive Management Committee. She leads the legal, government affairs, corporate secretarial, corporate communications, community affairs, and ESG functions for Discover. She is the Executive Sponsor for Professional Women Impacting Results. Discover provides banking and credit products that help people achieve their financial goals. 

Prior to joining Discover Financial Services, Hope was Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary of Bank of the West, which was a full-service provider of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services.  She also was Corporate Secretary of BNP Paribas USA, Inc., a leading European bank in the US for corporations, institutions, and individuals.​

Hope serves as an Independent Board Member of SmartBiz, the leading AI-powered financing platform connecting small businesses with SBA and flexible financing options. She is a member of the Oversight Committee of the Best Practice Principles Group and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Corporate Governance. Hope was recently highlighted by Corporate Counsel as an extraordinary leader for “Thought Leadership” as part of their 2023 Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) Awards and previously for “Innovative Leadership” as part of their 2022 WIPL Awards. Hope is an inductee into the “Corporate Governance Hall of Fame” and the recipient of the 2023 “William H. Avery Award for Equal Access to Justice” presented by Chicago Legal Aid Society. In 2021, Hope was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times. She was the recipient of Corporate Secretary’s 2019 Governance Professional of the Year (Large Cap) Award. Additionally, Global Proxy Watch recognized Hope in its 2019 list of ten people around the world who have had a breakthrough impact in corporate governance. Hope previously served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Institutional Investors, a member of Broadridge’s Independent Steering Committee, and President of the Southeastern Chapter of the Society for Corporate Governance.

Hope holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University Law School, and a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

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