Tanya D. Holcomb, J.D.
Chief Corporate Litigation Counsel; Assistant General Counsel
Honeywell International Inc.
Tanya Holcomb was determined to succeed and reached into her family’s history for inspiration. Her paternal grandparents, who raised eight children in Virginia during the Jim Crow epoch, were active in the local civil rights movement and overcame crushing obstacles to rise from sharecroppers to become significant landowners. “I am a firm believer in the knowledge of history impacting how you see the future and your goals,” Holcomb explains. While her grandparents provided the frame of reference that underpins her aspirations and success, her parents provided the foundation for her development of a strong sense of self.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from The City University of New York at Queens College, Holcomb was still unsure of her career path. “I was an English literature major in undergrad, but found that analyzing literature was a skill easily applicable to analyzing the law,” she recalls. She obtained a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and 10 years ago joined Honeywell International Inc.
Holcomb is Honeywell’s chief corporate litigation counsel/assistant general counsel. The position requires quick decision-making, she says, and she relies on her experience and expertise but trusts her gut in making the right ones. “What helps is having supportive management. I never worry that my decisions or judgment will be questioned,” she says. Over the last eight years, the company has won all but one of the 35 cases Holcomb managed through trial or appeal. Honeywell’s CEO nominated her to participate in the company’s highly selective Executive Development Program.
Holcomb previously served as senior attorney for BASF Corporation, where she developed an impressive record of successful resolutions, and was selected to participate in the company’s Leadership Development Program in Ludwigshafen, Germany. She serves on the board of the Morris Education Foundation and the Morris County Chapter of Jack and Jill, a national organization that nurtures future leaders.