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Vice President & General Counsel

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)
Commensurate with qualifications
Date posted
Feb 27, 2024

Vice President & General Counsel

The Opportunity
Harvard University, renowned for excellence in teaching, learning, research and developing global leaders across a breadth of disciplines, seeks its next Vice President & General Counsel.

Reporting to the President of Harvard University, the Vice President and General Counsel (“GC”) serves as the Chief Legal Officer for the University and the Harvard Corporation (“Corporation”) and leads an office of 26 FTE’s, including a team of 17 attorneys who provide legal counsel and representation to the University and its schools, divisions, units, affiliates, and related entities on the broad range of legal matters affecting the University. The GC is also responsible for hiring and managing outside counsel to represent the University in a broad array of matters, as needed. The Office of the General Counsel is tasked to provide the highest quality legal services to the University in a responsible, constructive, strategic, ethical, and timely manner; to protect and promote the mission and values of the University, including compliance with its obligations and protection and promotion of its interests; to minimize legal risks and costs; and to address and resolve legal disputes.

As trusted advisor to the Corporation, President, officers, faculty and staff, in the context of the heightened social, political, and philanthropic scrutiny currently faced by the University, the role of the General Counsel takes on a higher level of participation, in partnership with stakeholders in the Center and the Schools, in the design, communication, and implementation of University-wide decisions and goals, and risk management activities and objectives. The General Counsel will be relied upon to provide wise strategic counsel on issues of the highest risk in the legal and political arenas as well as in the court of public opinion across the breadth of the University’s operations.

The Search Advisory Committee invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications for a dynamic and collaborative General Counsel who will play a key leadership role for Harvard University at this pivotal time. The ideal candidate will have at least 15 years of experience as an attorney practicing in a relevant area of the law and will have demonstrable leadership experience within higher education or in an industry of similar complexity, a strong ability to provide strategic counsel to leadership, and exceptional communication skills to build trust and credibility with diverse stakeholders at all levels of the enterprise. Candidates must hold a Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA-approved law school and be a member in good standing of the Bar of the state in which they practice.

Harvard University has retained Korn Ferry, a national executive recruiting firm, to assist with this search. The search is being led by Victoria Antolini and Julie Norris. All nominations, inquiries, and application materials should be submitted in confidence to Korn Ferry. Korn Ferry will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Please direct all applications, nominations, and inquiries for the position to the search firm at the contact information below:

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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