BASSEL C. KORKOR, 38
VICE PRESIDENT, RISK MANAGEMENT, CHARLES SCHWAB
Bassel C. Korkor’s career has been defined by opportunities to tackle extremely difficult problems. From helping nonprofit organizations navigate the complex legal and political realities of the conflict in Syria to helping manage risk at major U.S. financial firms, he has become a leader in his field and in North Texas.
He was recruited from a high-power Washington career to be Vice President of Compliance at Fidelity Investments in Westlake, said nominator Igxtelle Mbah Acha, also with Charles Schwab.
In 2018, he became one of the early hires by Charles Schwab at its new campus in Westlake.
“He has been a high-performing leader at both institutions, and one can expect his role to continue to grow alongside Schwab’s growth in Tarrant County,” Acha said.
Korkor graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Columbus, Ohio. He was born in Cleveland, “spent a few years in the swamp (DC), and got to Texas as soon as I could in 2015,” he said.
Acha said Korkor’s experience gives him a unique perspective and enables him to see big problems as a series of accomplishable tasks.
When political unrest and a humanitarian crises began to develop in Syria in 2011, Korkor was a multi-lingual attorney with a law practice focused on the types of issues facing organizations
working to alleviate the crisis.
He began to take on nonprofit work, helping organizations establish the legal, governance, and compliance structures necessary to provide aid and assistance to the area.
Korkor was later selected to serve as a legal advisor to parties at the UN’s Syrian peace negotiations in Geneva.
– Paul K. Harral
Where did your first paycheck come from?
My first paycheck was from stocking clothes at a store in Belden Village Mall in Canton, Ohio, during high school.
What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?
I must have watched the Back to the Future trilogy 100 times. It allowed you to totally reimagine the world in different ways, while appreciating common themes, personalities, and the linkages between actions and reactions among people over time.
Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or
she was important.
I’ve been fortunate to have many people provide different kinds of influence in my life – the tenacity of my mother, the focus of my father, the clarity of my wife, and others. My first job after law school was a clerkship for the late federal Judge David A. Katz.
He was extremely intelligent and successful, but what was much more important to him was the way he approached his work and his daily interactions with people – with humility, humanity, and humor – from the parties before him and their lawyers to his staff and strangers alike. I learned as much or more from his personality as from my substantive work for the
When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I was pretty young when I decided I wanted to be a lawyer (i.e., middle school), and by the time we read To Kill a Mockingbird a few years later, I was locked in.
What is your favorite song?
Suit and Jacket by Judah and the Lion – seems appropriate for this event.
Tell us about your photo shoot prop.
For attorneys, the casebook is certainly a reminder of the work and pain of going through law school. But also, each of these books is a collection of human stories, told as conflicts that impartial jurists tried their honest best to resolve fairly. It’s amazing to me how those stories also form the basis for the tradition of American law, and how it continues to happen in courtrooms across the country every day. I’ve also brought along my computer, notebook, and a pen – I never go into a meeting without them.