New President for Appleseed|
Robert Mundheim 57
Heading up a complex cooperative venture is nothing new to Robert Mundheim 57, who becomes the Appleseed Foundations new president January 1. Before his appointment as senior executive vice president and general counsel of Salomon Smith Barney Holdings in 1992, Mundheim was cochairman of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, and from 1982 to 1989, he was a progressive and popular dean at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He previously served as general counsel of the U.S. Treasury.
In the past whirlwind year at Salomon, Mundheim has been involved in three major mergersSalomon merged with Smith Barney and became part of Travelers, which in turn agreed to merge with Citicorp, the parent of Citibank. Citibank invested in Nikko, one of the major Japanese investment banking houses.
Now Mundheim looks forward to leading Appleseed. He takes over the presidency from Rick Medalie, who along with Ralph Nader, Richard Goodwin, Arthur Miller, and other members of the Class of 1958 decided at their 35th class reunion to develop a national network of locally based law centers to address systemic social problems amenable to legal solutions. Today, 14 local Appleseed public interest centers in 12 states are drawing on the talents of attorneys from major law firms and law students who work pro bono on issues ranging from pension liability in the District of Columbia, to the Massachusetts foster care system, and fraudulent contractors in Montana.
Mundheim got involved with Appleseed three years ago, at the invitation of friends from the Class of 1958. "A number of Appleseeds projects touch on my longstanding interest in working with students, as an educator," says Mundheim, who joined the faculty of University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1965. One such undertaking is the electoral reform project at Harvard Law School: students in the course on Money and Politics taught by Professor Philip Heymann 60 earn clinical credits for placements at such organizations as the National Voting Rights Institute, Public Campaign, and Common Cause, or for helping private attorneys with litigation defending campaign reform proposals. Another new project Appleseeds board is considering would review the cost of law school education.
One of Mundheims goals is to further broaden the already diverse board, which currently boasts the likes of Diana Daniels 74, general counsel of the Washington Post, Judith Richards Hope 64 of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who he says "have quite different ideas about the world. One of the great things about Appleseed is its hospitality to differing viewpoints, which engenders a variety of wonderful projects. "