Latest corporate secretary and general counsel moves.
1) The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has announced the appointment of Eileen Lach as general counsel and chief compliance officer. Lach will report to James Prendergast, the organization’s executive director and chief operating officer. She serves on the association’s management council and is based in its New York headquarters.
Lach, pictured left, is known for her experience in legal affairs associated with global business operations, enterprise risk management, mergers and acquisitions, corporate responsibility, public policy and the non-profit sector.
Previously, as vice president, corporate secretary and associate general counsel for Wyeth (now part of Pfizer), Lach played an instrumental role in addressing matters relating to corporate governance and ethics, global business operations and enterprise risk management. Earlier in her Wyeth career she served as lead counsel for a $6 billion international product portfolio, overseeing a staff of international legal professionals and lawyers in the company’s non-US subsidiaries.
Before her move to Wyeth, Lach was a corporate partner for the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath, and served on a pro bono basis as general counsel for Amnesty International. She earned her undergraduate degree in international relations at the University of Minnesota, where she was the first woman ever to be nominated for a Rhodes scholarship. She received her master’s of public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and her JD from New York University School of Law.
2) First Wind, an independent US-based wind energy company, recently added Michele Beasley to its growing ranks as senior vice president and general counsel. Beasley comes to First Wind with a high level of experience in the development and financing of wind and other energy projects. In her new role, she will oversee the company’s legal affairs and manage its legal team.
‘Her expertise in the space is unparalleled and positions her perfectly to support our projects in operation and under development across the US,’ says Michael Alvarez, president and financial chief of First Wind.
Most recently, Beasley, pictured right, served as senior counsel at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco and Boston, and as senior legal counsel to the securities investment group of Wells Fargo’s wholesale division, supporting a multi-billion-dollar, high-yield investment portfolio and large street and customer-facing sales and trading groups. She also served on the bank’s securities investment risk management and firewall committees, and represented its commercial real estate financing teams.
Prior to Wells Fargo, Beasley spent more than a decade working on all aspects of the development and financing of energy projects at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Chadbourne & Parke, including the structuring, negotiation and documentation of equity investments, project contracts, third-party limited and non-recourse financing, and related real estate and governmental approvals work. She also served as staff counsel to the Women’s Rights Project of Human Rights Watch, under the Georgetown University Law Center’s Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship.
Beasley received her BA from Smith College and her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
The H&R Block tax preparation company has appointed Tom Gerke as senior vice president and general counsel. In this role, he will oversee the company’s legal strategy and activities.
‘[Gerke] has guided Fortune 500 companies through a variety of legal and regulatory challenges,’ says H&R Block CEO Bill Cobb. ‘He’s also great at helping companies build on opportunities. [He] is the right choice to help us lead H&R Block into the future.’
Gerke comes to the US-based company after serving as general counsel at YRC Worldwide, a leading trucking firm, but he is known for holding several leadership positions in the telecommunications industry. He rose through the ranks in telecommunications to become CEO of Sprint spin-off Embarq, a landline telephone company, in 2007. While CEO of Embarq, he led the company through its merger with CenturyTel. He then served as executive vice chairman of CenturyLink, the newly combined company. Prior to his appointment to CEO, Gerke was Embarq’s executive vice president and general counsel. His responsibilities also included Embarq’s wholesale markets group during 2007, prior to his appointment as CEO.
Prior to Embarq, Gerke spent more than a decade serving in various legal and business leadership capacities within Sprint, including his service as executive vice president and general counsel. While general counsel, he oversaw the legal and regulatory aspects of the Sprint Nextel merger. In addition, he spent nine years in private practice with a full-service law firm focused primarily on strategic corporate matters.
3) Brian Jones, former general counsel at the US Department of Education, has been nabbed by Strayer University and will serve as its new general counsel. He will also serve as deputy general counsel for Strayer Education, the university’s holding company.
Jones comes to Strayer following a distinguished tenured career in education. He currently serves as chairman of the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board. Prior to joining Strayer he was co-founder and president of Latimer Education, a venture-backed company that partners with historically black colleges to provide African-American students with online educational opportunities.
Prior to his time with Latimer, Jones served as senior counsel in the post-secondary education practice group at the law firm of Dow Lohnes. From 2001 to 2005, he served as general counsel for the US Department of Education – the fourth-ranking officer of the department and the principal legal adviser to the secretary of education. He was appointed by President George Bush and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.
Jones earned his BS degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Georgetown University and his JD from the UCLA School of Law.
4) Textron, an aircraft company, has officially named Robert Lupone as executive vice president, general counsel, secretary and chief compliance officer of the company. He succeeds Terrence O’Donnell, 67, who will retire after 12 years of service to Textron.
Lupone will report directly to Scott Donnelly, the company’s chairman and chief executive. ‘His leadership experience and legal expertise – which spans a diverse range of industries, countries and areas of law – will be a tremendous asset,’ says Donnelly.
Lupone has served as senior vice president and general counsel of Siemens (US) since 1999 and as general counsel of Siemens AG for the Americas since 2008, overseeing all legal and compliance functions.
Throughout his 20-year career at Siemens, Lupone has managed a broad array of legal functions for Siemens management and operating groups, including litigation, M&A, corporate law, commercial and finance law, compliance and regulatory matters, government contracting, technology licensing, employee benefits, real estate and environmental matters.
Prior to joining Siemens, Lupone was vice president and general counsel of Price Communications, and earlier in his career he served as an attorney specializing in mergers, acquisitions and securities at the New York-based international law firms of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Rogers & Wells. He is a graduate of Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center.
5) Emeritus, a provider of senior living services, has appointed Mark Finkelstein to the position of executive vice president, corporate development and general counsel. Finkelstein has significant experience as a senior executive and attorney.
Prior to joining Emeritus, he served as CEO and member of the board of directors of Novellus Capital Management, a specialized asset management firm. Before being appointed CEO at Novellus, Finkelstein served as its chief operating officer. From 1986 to 2006 he practiced law with the Seattle law firm of Graham & Dunn, where he specialized in M&A, complex financing strategies and other corporate transactions. Finkelstein received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.
6) Adimab, an antibody discovery firm, has announced that Philip Chase has joined the company as general counsel. Chase comes to the company with extensive legal and deal-making experience in the biotechnology industry.
Most recently Chase served as general counsel at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw all legal functions and had a prominent role in the company’s business development activities. Before that he served as vice president and general counsel of Epix Pharmaceuticals and played an integral role in the merger of Epix and Predix Pharmaceuticals.
He also served as chief corporate counsel at Transkaryotic Therapies and played an integral role in the sale of that company to Shire. Earlier in his career, Chase worked at the law firms of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Shearman & Sterling. He received his JD from Columbia University School of Law and his BA from Colby College.
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