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Ben W. Heineman, Jr.

Ben W. Heineman, Jr. is a Senior Fellow of the Program on Corporate Governance. He was GE's Senior Vice President-General Counsel from 1987-2003, and then Senior Vice President for Law and Public Affairs from 2004 until his retirement at the end of 2005. He is currently also a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Program on the Legal Profession, and Senior Counsel to the law firm WilmerHale. A former Rhodes Scholar, editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, Mr. Heineman was assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and practiced constitutional law prior to his service at GE. His book, High Performance with High Integrity, was published in June, 2008 by the Harvard Business Press. He writes and lectures frequently on business, law and international affairs. He is also the author of books on British race relations and the American presidency.

In 2007, he served on the Independent Review Panel of the World Bank Group's Department of Institutional Integrity (the Volcker Panel). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Science, Technology and Law, and a recipient of the American Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award of Board Member Magazine. He serves on the boards of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Transparency International-USA. He recently delivered the Oliver Smithies Lectures at Oxford University on the global anticorruption agenda.

Recent corporate governance writing and materials:

World War I: Lessons from 1914 for 2014
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, July 2014.

GM's GC and Some Theories of Culpability
Corporate Counsel, July 2014.

GC and CEO Responsibility for GM's Dysfunctional Culture
Corporate Counsel, June 2014.

Does the New York Times Know How to Fire Someone?
Harvard Business Review, May 2014.

Who’s Responsible for the Walmart Mexico Scandal?
Harvard Business Review, May 2014.

Broader Clawback Policies, More Corporate Accountability
Corporate Counsel, April 2014.

The Fatal Flaws of Fatal Attraction
The Atlantic, April 2014.

General Sisi's Greatest Enemy
The Atlantic, March 2014.

The Crisis Management Lesson from Toyota and GM: “It’s Our Problem the Moment We Hear About It”
Harvard Business Review, March 2014.

Jamie Dimon’s Pay Raise Sends Mixed Signals on Culture and Accountability
Harvard Business Review, February 2014.

Can Chinese Market Reforms Help American Companies?
The Atlantic, December 2013.

Elizabeth Taylor's Feisty, Feminist Turn in Giant
The Atlantic, November 2013.

6 Essential Tasks of the Board and the CEO
Corporate Counsel, October 2013.

Too Big to Manage: JP Morgan and the Mega Banks
Harvard Business Review, October 2013.

No, GCs Should Not Be on the Board
Corporate Counsel, September 2013.

Why Chemical Weapons Are Different
The Atlantic, September 2013.

Forget the Coup: Egypt's Economy Is the Real Problem
The Atlantic, July 2013.

Only the Right CEO Can Create a Culture of Integrity
Corporate Counsel, June 2013.

For Dimon and Board Leaders: Function Matters, Not Form
Harvard Business Review, May 2013.

The Cost of Saving Lives in Bangladesh
The Atlantic, May 2013.

Name the Trade Rep, Mr. President
Harvard Business Review, April 2013.

When Roger Ebert Was a Cub Critic
The Atlantic, April 2013.

Why We Can All Stop Worrying About Offshoring and Outsourcing
The Atlantic, March 2013.

On DOMA, Real-World Arguments Could Sway the Supreme Court
The Atlantic, March 2013.

How Times, and Time, Changed
The Atlantic, March 2013.

From BP to Boeing, Supplier Safety Is the CEO's Problem
Harvard Business Review, March 2013.

How Obama Can Win a European Free-Trade Deal
The Atlantic, February 2013.

'Downton Abbey' Is Entertainment, but 'Brideshead Revisited' Was Art
The Atlantic, February 2013.

General Counsel are One Conscience of the Company
Corporate Counsel, January 2013.

The JP Morgan "Whale" Report and the Ghosts of the Financial Crisis
Harvard Business Review, January 2013.

What Obama Forgot: Economic Growth Is the Only Way to Social Progress
The Atlantic, January 2013.

Obama’s Chief of Staff Will Be the Most Important Appointment of His Term
The Atlantic, January 2013.

Why Are Some Sectors (Ahem, Finance) So Scandal-Plagued?
Harvard Business Review, January 2013.

Anna Karenina: Read the Book, Skip the Movie
The Atlantic, December 2012.

Egypt's Economic Winter
The Atlantic, December 2012.

High-Risk, High-Reward: Will Obama Seek a Free-Trade Pact With Europe
The Atlantic, December 2012.

At Olympus and Goldman Sachs, Two Very Different Whistleblowers
Harvard Business Review, December 2012.

In Praise of CNN
The Atlantic, November 2012.

Barack Obama, Organization Man
The Atlantic, November 2012.

Obama Should Nominate Michael Bloomberg as Treasury Secretary
The Atlantic, November 2012.

Citigroup: A Symbol of Board Resurgence?
Harvard Business Review, November 2012.

Training for Trouble
Corporate Counsel, November 2012.

The Gallant Idealism of George McGovern
The Atlantic, October 2012.

The Rise of the General Counsel
Harvard Business Review, September 2012.

A Cautionary Tale for Regulated Industries
Harvard Business Review, September 2012.

The Political Lie, From Cicero to Joe McCarthy
The Atlantic, September 2012.

Memories Lost: A Son's Regret
The Atlantic, August 2012.

Debating Disaster in Order to Prepare for It
Harvard Business Review, August 2012.

Corruption Still Imperils Afghan Future—and U.S. Interests
The Atlantic, July 2012.

Two Cheers for JP Morgan's "Clawbacks"
Harvard Business Review, July 2012.

Child Abuse at Penn State: The Former University President's Responsibility
The Atlantic, July 2012.

Only Government Intervention Can Stop Corrupt Capitalism
The Atlantic, July 2012.

In the Driver's Seat: The Changing Role of the General Counsel
Harvard Law Bulletin, Summer 2012.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Corporate Counsel, June 2012.

Can JP Morgan Transparently Police Itself?
Harvard Business Review, May 2012.

The Sculptor Who Brought Dead Civil War Heroes to Life
The Atlantic, May 2012.

GCs in the Classroom
Yale Law Report, May 2012.

Replace Joe Biden
The Atlantic, May 2012.

The Self-Destruction of Tiger Woods
The Atlantic, May 2012.

News Corp, Walmart and CEO Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing
Harvard Business Review, May 2012.

5 Things We Learned From the British Parliament's Explosive Report on Murdoch
The Atlantic, May 2012.

Wal-Mart Bribery Case Raises Fundamental Governance Issues
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, April 2012.

Walmart's Massive Bribery Scandal: What Happens Now?
The Atlantic, April 2012.

Do CEOs Deserve Privacy? Warren Buffett Answers the Question Correctly
The Atlantic, April 2012.

The Ex-Im Bank Fight and the Future of Global Competiveness
Harvard Business Review, April 2012.

The In-House World According to Ben Heineman, Jr., Part II
Corporate Counsel, April 2012.

The In-House World According to Ben Heineman, Jr.
Corporate Counsel, April 2012.

Apple Is About to Discover the Price of Fair Labor
The Atlantic, March 2012.

Apple Is About to Discover the Price of Fair Labor
The Atlantic, March 2012.

Can the Marriage of the GC and Chief Compliance Officer Last?
Corporate Counsel, March 2012.

Goldman Whistleblower: High on Indignation, Low on Facts
The Atlantic, March 2012.

Swing Vote: How the Election Could Tip the Balance of the Supreme Court
The Atlantic, February 2012.

In Defense of Responsible Offshoring and Outsourcing
Harvard Business Review, February 2012.

News Corp's Internal Inquiry Poses the Greatest Threat Yet to Rupert Murdoch
The Atlantic, February 2012.

Can America Lead the World's Fight Against Corruption?
The Atlantic, February 2012.

Super PACs: The WMDs of Campaign Finance
The Atlantic, January 2012.

Tough Dilemmas for Companies on Campaign Spending
Harvard Business Review, January 2012.

The Real Story of War Horses on the Western Front
The Atlantic, December 2011.

Why Egypt's Economy Matters
The Atlantic, December 2011.

The Political Case Against Out-Sized Executive Pay
Harvard Business Review, December 2011.

Legendary Tech Entrepreneurs: Who Made the Biggest Impact on Society?
The Atlantic, November 2011.

Penn State's Dangerous Culture of Silence at the Top
The Atlantic, November 2011.

The 4-Letter Word That Can Boost Obama's Chances: V-E-T-O
The Atlantic, October 2011.

Steve Jobs and the Purpose of the Corporation
Harvard Business Review, October 2011.

In Russia, a Demographic Crisis and Worries for Nation's Future
The Atlantic, October 2011.

Are Institutional Investors Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?
Report from the Yale School of Management and the Committee for Economic Development, October 2011.

Institutional Investors: The Next Frontier in Corporate Governance
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, October 2011.

We May Never Know Leaders' Responsibility in Gulf Disaster
Harvard Business Review, September 2011.

The Origins of Today's Bitter Partisanship: The Founding Fathers
The Atlantic, September 2011.

Exit Obama, Enter Irene: A Dispatch from Martha's Vineyard
The Atlantic, August 2011.

Can the Fracking Industry Self-Regulate?
The Atlantic, August 2011.

In (Partial) Defense of Obama
The Atlantic, August 2011.

Is Murdoch to Blame for 'This Whole Fiasco'?
The Atlantic, July 2011.

News Corp Leaders from James Murdoch to Les Hinton Face Killer Question: Why No Earlier Internal Investigation?
Washington Post, July 2011.

'News of the World' Shuts Down: Who Should Take the Blame?
The Atlantic, July 2011.

In China, Corruption and Unrest Threaten Autocratic Rule
The Atlantic, June 2011.

To Hot To Handle?
American Lawyer, July 2011.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Memorial Day
The Atlantic, May 2011.

Sex Between Superiors and Subordinates: What Are the Rules?
The Atlantic, May 2011.

A Free Pass for Warren Buffett? Berkshire Audit Committee's Mistake
The Atlantic, April 2011.

Will Obama Throw a Grenade to Blow-Up Hidden Campaign Donations?
The Atlantic, April 2011.

Is the French veil ban ‘unconstitutional’?
Washington Post, April 2011.

Sokol Acted Unethically, Warren, Just Say It
Harvard Business Review, April 2011.

Can Women Be a Catalyst for Japan's Renewal?
The Atlantic, April 2011.

The Inside Story of Ferraro's 1984 Debate Prep
The Atlantic, March 2011.

Japan: Future Risk, Present Devastation
The Atlantic, March 2011.

Crisis Management Failures in Japan's Reactors and the BP Spill
Harvard Business Review, March 2011.

Egypt's Quest for Economic (Not Just Political) Legitimacy
The Atlantic, February 2011.

The Portrait and the Nazis
The Atlantic, February 2011.

Fear and the Internet
Washington Post, February 2011.

The Future of Egypt and the Riddles of History
The Atlantic, February 2011.

FCIC: The Private Sector Failed
The Atlantic, January 2011.

Disclosure of Steve Jobs's Illness: Round Two
The Atlantic, January 2011.

Disclosure About Steve Jobs's Illness: Apple Should Provide It, the SEC Should Require It
The Atlantic, January 2011.

How the BP Commission Dropped the Ball
Harvard Business Review, January 2011.

The Supreme Court: 'Originalism's' Theory and the Federalist Papers' Reality
The Atlantic, January 2011.

The Very Real Danger Beyond Cyberhackers: Inside Leaks
The Atlantic, January 2011.

Don’t Divorce the GC and Compliance Officer
Corporate Counsel, January 2011.

In Repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' Implementation Matters
The Atlantic, December 2010.

One Strike and You're Out
Washington Post, December 2010.

The Afghan Strategic Review: Speak the Truth About Corruption
The Atlantic, December 2010.

Rereading 'Ulysses' by James Joyce: The Best Novel Since 1900
The Atlantic, November 2010.

Armistice Day: The Forgotten Fields of Flanders
The Atlantic, November 2010.

It's a Problem of Peer Judgment
Washington Post, November 2010.

Management as a Profession: A Business Lawyer's Critique
Harvard Business Review, November 2010.

The Afghan Black Hole: Governance and Corruption
The Atlantic, October 2010.

Deciding in a State of Ignorance
Washington Post, September 2010.

No Cure for the Cancer of Health Costs
The Atlantic, September 2010.

BP's Accident Report: Look at the Recommendations for the Future
The Atlantic, September 2010.

Voluntary Standards Not the Same as Mandatory Law
Washington Post, September 2010.

Making Sense Out of “Clawbacks”
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, August 2010.

HP's CEO, Mark Hurd: How Could He Do Something So Stupid?
The Atlantic, August 2010.

The General Counsel as Lawyer-Statesman
Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession Blue Paper.

Let the Revels Begin
The Atlantic, July 2010.

BP's Board Has Questions to Answer, Too
Business Week, July 2010.

Where Big Doesn't Have to Mean Bad
Washington Post, July 2010.

Hidden Election Expenditures After Citizens United
The Atlantic, July 2010.

CEO Lessons from McChrystal’s Sacking
Business Week, June 2010.

Gen. McChrystal: When the Reason Trumps the Result
Washington Post, June 2010.

Who's-On-First in the Gulf
Washington Post, June 2010.

The Safety Calculus After BP
Harvard Business Review, June 2010.

The Gulf Spill: Who Should Investigate?
The Atlantic, May 2010.

Is It Too Late for Goldman Sachs to Play Offense?
Harvard Business Review, May 2010.

Goldman Sachs: Being 'legal' doesn't make it 'right'
The Washington Post, April 2010.

Valuing Safety is Good for Companies' Bottom Line
The Atlantic, April 2010.

Alan Greenspan, Regulator?
The Atlantic, April 2010.

Obama's Afghan Dilemma: Managing Hamid Karzai
Harvard Business Review, March 2010.

Accountability and the Catholic Church
Business Week, March 2010.

Toyota: Flunking Crisis Management 101
Washington Post, February 2010.

Where Are the Global Anti-Corruption Leaders?
The Atlantic, February 2010.

Restoring Trust in Corporate Governance
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, January 2010.

A "Stewardship Code" for Institutional Investors
Havard Business Review, January 2010.

The Google Case: When Law and Ethics Collide
The Atlantic, January 2010.

Defining Corporate Citizenship
Washington Post, November 2009.

The Ugly End-Game
Washington Post, November 2009.

Shareholders: Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?
The Atlantic, October 2009.

A Budapest B-School Teaches Leadership at the Crossroads
Havard Business Review, September 2009.

Getting Your Fix
Corporate Counsel, September 2009.

Beware the Idolatry of Numbers
The Atlantic, August 2009.

Executive Compensation: Let's Look at Fund Managers' Pay, Too
Harvard Business Review, July 2009.

The Talented Mr. Blankfein
Washington Post Blog, July 2009.

Harvard Business Review Debates, June 2009:

We've Lost Authenticity
Washington Post, June 2009.

Going Beyond MBA Oaths
Harvard Business Review, June 2009.

Stop Bribery Everywhere
Corporate Counsel, June 2009.

The Long Goodbye
Washington Post Blog, May 2009.

Function, Not Form, Matters Most in Board's Nonexecutive Leader
Harvard Business Review, May 2009.

SARS Corporate Playbook
Washington Post Blog, April 2009.

Redefining the CEO Role
BusinessWeek, April 2009.

G20 Fails to Take on Global Bribery
Harvard Business Review, April 2009.

It's About Accountability, Stupid
Washington Post, March 2009.

Pitchfork Populism
Washington Post, March 2009.

Dangerous Obfuscation of Facts
Washington Post, March 2009.

Google's Bad Options
Harvard Business Review, March 2009.

Personnel Management: Who Goofed, Obama or Gregg?
Harvard Business Review, February 2009.

Executive Compensation: The Leadership Failure that Led to Pay Caps
Harvard Business Review, February 2009.

Executive Compensation: What Obama’s Plan Means
Business Week, February 2009.

Is Google Doing the Right Thing?
Financial Times, February 2009.

A Tale of Two Cities
Washington Post, February 2009.

Boards Fail — Again
BusinessWeek, September 2008.

The Fatal Flaw in Pay for Performance
Harvard Business Review, June 2008.

Former Top GE Lawyer Heineman Discusses New Book on Integrity
Bloomberg, June 2008.

Risk-Taking, Discipline — and Regulation
BusinessWeek, May 2008.

Safety First Abroad
Forbes, May 2008.

Arrested Development
The National Interest, November/December 2007.

Financial Leaders Go AWOL in the Meltdown
Bloomberg, November 2007.

Caught in the Middle
Corporate Counsel, April 2007.

Avoiding Integrity Land Mines
Harvard Business Review, April 2007.

Hands Across the Water
Corporate Counsel, October 2006.

The Long War Against Corruption
Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006.

In the Beginning
Corporate Counsel, April 2006.

Bigger Isn’t Better
Corporate Counsel, November 2005.