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Erik D. Ramanathan
Senior Fellow

Erik Ramanathan is a Senior Fellow of the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession (PLP). His research interests include corporate governance and the role and influence of lawyers in corporate boardrooms; the structure and dynamics of in-house legal departments; the role and development of specialized legal professionals such as corporate secretaries and compliance officers; and the globalization of private and public sector law practice. From 2009 until 2013, he was Executive Director of PLP.

Prior to joining HLS, Erik was Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary & Chief Compliance Officer of ImClone Systems, a large-cap public biotechnology firm commercializing novel targeted oncology therapeutics. Tapped as General Counsel of this $6 billion enterprise with eight in-house lawyers and a $20 million legal budget as an openly gay 33-year old, Erik’s six years at ImClone were an immersive crash course in the professional challenges of both enormous success and daunting and well-publicized legal, regulatory and governance crises. Negotiating and implementing the then-largest commercial biotechnology deal of all time and helping launch one of the world’s most successful oncology drug franchises while managing and cleaning up after insider trading scandals, shareholder and federal lawsuits, regulatory distrust, pharmaceutical partner disputes, Congressional and SEC inquiries, tax troubles, stock exchange delisting, three CEO transitions, a proxy battle with Carl Icahn, and a public M&A auction process for sale of the company have given Erik unique insight into the challenges of modern legal practice and a keen appetite for finding new ways of addressing and adapting to them.

Erik currently serves as Vice Chair and Governance chair of the board of directors of Public Health Foundation Enterprises—the world’s largest fiscal sponsor, as Lead Director of Brain League Intellectual Property Services—a global IP services firm, and as trustee of the Shady Hill School.


JD, Harvard Law School, 1996

BA in Natural Sciences – Behavioral Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, 1991

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