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Ben Heineman

Mailing address

Littauer 362
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Ben Heineman

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-7305
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: ben_heineman@harvard.edu

 

Experience

Mr. Heineman is a graduate of Harvard College (1965), Oxford University (1967 -- graduate degree/political science) and Yale Law School (1971). A former Rhodes Scholar, editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, he practiced law in Washington before serving at HEW from 1977-1980, ending his tenure there as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Mr. Heineman was then managing partner of the Washington office of Sidley & Austin, focusing on Supreme Court and test case litigation. He is the author of books on British race relations and the American presidency. In 1987, Mr. Heineman became Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the General Electric Company located in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 2004, he was named GE's Senior Vice President for Law and Public Affairs. Mr. Heineman is a member of the American Law Institute; a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; a member of the Board of Transparency International-USA; a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center; and a member of the Board of Managers and Overseers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. In May 2011, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

While at the Belfer Center, he will research and write on a wide variety of public and private sector issues, including the global anti-corruption movement, corporate citizenship and social responsibility,  the changing role of the corporate general counsel and the inside legal department, the corporate response to terrorism, corporate governance, and corporations and public policy.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

April 21, 2014

"Broader Clawback Policies, More Corporate Accountability"

Op-Ed, Corporate Counsel

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Corporations should go far beyond the frameworks in Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley in designing clawback and holdback policies, writes Senior Fellow Ben Heineman. Broadly and properly constructed, these mechanisms, now encompassed under the term of art “compensation recovery policies” are essential for ensuring high performance with high integrity.

 

 

AP / Hussein Malla

March 27, 2014

"General Sisi's Greatest Enemy: The Egyptian Economy"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Now that military strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has declared his intention to run for Egypt’s presidency, he should keep something in mind: Both Hosni Mubarak and his successor, Mohammed Morsi, weren’t only ousted from the country’s highest office because they suppressed political and constitutional rights, writes Ben Heineman. They also fell because fitful economic reforms failed to address poverty and near-poverty, high unemployment, extremely high youth unemployment, and unchecked inflation.

 

2013

October 16, 2013

"6 Essential Tasks of the Board and the CEO"

Op-Ed, Corporate Counsel

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

According to former GE general counsel Ben Heineman Jr., there are six essential governance tasks for boards and business leaders to restore trust in corporations by fusing high performance with high integrity.

 

 

AP Images

October 3, 2013

"Too Big to Manage: JP Morgan and the Mega Banks"

Op-Ed, Harvard Business Review, HBR Blog Network

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Every casual reader of business news knows that JP Morgan Chase & Co. is in a world of legal hurt.  But, it is not alone.  Many other major  financial institutions — Bank of America,  Citigroup, HSBC, Barclay’s, Wells Fargo, UBS, etc. — have their share of big dollar controversies with regulators and private claimants.  The immediate news coverage is focused on the size of financial penalties for the institutions,  on the potential civil or criminal culpability of  bank officials and on the reputational harm to both the bank and its senior officers.

 

 

September 11, 2013

"No, GCs Should Not Be on the Board"

Op-Ed, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

A provocative headline recently topped a CorpCounsel.com story: “Should GCs Be on the Board? GCs Say Yes.”

This former GC says “no.”

 

 

AP Images

September 9, 2013

"Why Chemical Weapons Are Different"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The current global—and Congressional—debate about whether to deploy force against Syria for its use of sarin gas on civilians will depend, in part, on whether the reasons for a post-World War I agreement banning the offensive use of chemical and biological weapons continue to be honored.

 

 

June 6, 2013

"Only the Right CEO Can Create a Culture of Integrity"

Op-Ed, Corporate Counsel

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Corporate Counsel recently ran an article entitled "Bringing Compliance to the C-Suite," based on a Rand Corporation conference of a similar name and previewing a subsequent report-out. The focus of the conference, as reflected in papers presented there and referenced in the article, is that a variety of pressures cause CEOs to act badly or, at the least, to be indifferent to issues of corporate integrity. This is, of course, an important perspective.

 

 

May 17, 2013

"For Dimon and Board Leaders: Function Matters, Not Form"

Op-Ed, Harvard Business Review, Blog Network

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

One of the dumbest corporate governance issues is whether to split the roles of Board Chair and CEO. That debate is now playing out on the front pages of business sections (print and online) as shareholders will decide next week in a nonbinding vote whether to take the chairman of the board title away from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon.

 

 

May 10, 2013

"The Cost of Saving Lives in Bangladesh"

Op-Ed, The Atlantic

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The horrific death of more than 900 Bangladesh garment workers in the collapse of a building, following the death of 112 garment workers in a Bangladesh factory fire five months ago, has led, of course, to the inevitable calls for reform. The immediate question is how to ensure structural soundness of factories after the multi-storied Rana Plaza facility--making garments for as many as 30 international retailers--broke apart, burning, suffocating and crushing its workforce. But broader issues of worker health and safety for Bangladesh's 5,000 garment factories have also come to the fore.

 

 

April 26, 2013

"Name the Trade Rep, Mr. President"

Op-Ed, Harvard Business Review, HBR Blog Network

By Ben Heineman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In President Obama's second term, the United States has an ambitious and challenging Atlantic and Pacific trade agenda which could significantly alter the architecture of the global economy.

 

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