© JULY/AUGUS T 2017, ASSOCIATION OF CORPORATE COUNSEL 7
Katia Bloom almost has a sixth sense for relationship building. She contends it’s because of
her upbringing. When she was a child, her family fled Latvia, a small country on the Baltic
Sea which, at the time, was a part of the Soviet Union. Her family was stripped of its Soviet
citizenship and left adrift — “we actually were citizens of nowhere,” she remembers. With
only a suitcase per person, they settled in the Chicago area. “I think when you grow up that
way, you’re just very aware that it could all go away pretty quickly.”
She’s developed a mantra she remembers when things aren’t going great: “We’re all
people first and employees second.” It grounds her and lets her see the whole situation in
a calm manner, a skill that any in-house counsel needs to master. She says that 90 percent
of problems are ultimately communication problems, and being a calm communicator
engenders problem solving.
Managing relationships is especially important in high-growth companies, which
are the preferred environment for Bloom. She is currently associate general counsel of
ForgeRock, a software company that provides identity access management solutions that
protect, connect, and manage the digital identities of people, devices, and the Internet of
Things. ForgeRock’s technology helps large enterprises to secure the identity of anything
to build trusted, personalized relationships with their customers across all platforms of
Bloom was attracted to the company’s technology and interesting time in its lifes-
pan: high growth, but established enough to have solid processes in place. In large part,
though, she joined because of its people and amazing legal team. “As I’ve gotten further
and further in my career, the people I work with have become my number one criteria,”
she says, adding: “ForgeRock was just the right fit across the board.”
In addition to her day job, Bloom is devoted to the in-house community. An ener-
getic leader, she is a member and secretary of ACC’s ITPEC Committee and is also on the
leadership team of the ACC San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. She coauthors a weekly col-
umn for in-house counsel on Above the Law, regularly contributes articles to ACCDocket.
com, and a monthly technology and career column for ACC Docket. Her articles touch on
everything from cybersecurity and privacy to diversity-related topics.
The mother of two young daughters, Bloom has started both of her last jobs pregnant.
“We have a running joke in our household that I need to be pregnant in order to switch
jobs. What can I say — women have children, and I’ve never thought that should stop
me from taking on new opportunities and challenges,” Bloom explains. She credits co-founding her law firm in 2008, during the midst of the Great Recession, with her fearless
attitude and desire to pursue many avenues at once. She calls the firm “the single best professional experience” because it made her comfortable with being uncomfortable. Once
she let go of trying to be perfect, she says, she magically had a lot more time to do things.
Her prolific contributions are also rooted in her family history. She is a third-gen-eration female lawyer. And her mother, who she says influenced her more than anyone
else, left behind an established legal career to move her family to the United States. “My
mom gave up a lot for me to have the privilege to be a lawyer in the United States. I feel a
tremendous responsibility to give back to whatever community I’m part of,” she reflects,
“whether on the legal or personal front.” 30
2017 TOP 10 30-SOMETHING katia bloom