Charlita Cardwell

Charlita C. Cardwell is Vice President and Senior Counsel in the General Counsel’s Office of American Express Company. In this role, Charlita is responsible for providing strategic, transactional and general legal advice to American Express OPEN, the Amex division dedicated to making small businesses and their owners more successful. During her tenure with OPEN, Charlita has been a key player in launching innovative new products, structuring, negotiating and implementing strategic alliances and partnerships as well as broadening OPEN’s business strategy to address its clients’ increasingly broad and complex needs. Additionally, Charlita has prepared Executives to testify before regulatory and legislative bodies about small business credit and the needs of small businesses amid a rapidly changing regulatory and political environment.

Before joining American Express, Charlita was Assistant General Counsel, Corporate Transactions responsible for Mergers and Acquisitions for Compass Group USA, Inc., a highly-acquisitive holding company. Charlita began her career in private practice with the law firms Dewey & LeBoeuf and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Charlita earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in Economics from Wake Forest University and her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their daughter.