Cornell University — University Counsel and Secretary

Applications and nominations are now being accepted for the next University Counsel & Secretary for Cornell University, a unique global research university that is a privately endowed member of the Ivy League and also the land-grant institution for the state of New York.

Cornell University is governed by a distinguished Board of Trustees, and led by a highly accomplished senior leadership team. The University Counsel is a key legal, policy, governance, and business advisor on matters of importance to the Board, President, and other senior officials.

The University Counsel & Secretary of the Corporation is a university-wide position that reports directly to the President and to the Board of Trustees. The University Counsel serves as the Chief Legal Officer for the entire university, leads the fifteen attorneys and other professional staff of the Office of University Counsel in both Ithaca and New York City, and selects and oversees all outside legal counsel retained to represent the University. As Secretary of the Corporation, the person holding this position also serves as the chief governance officer and advisor to the Board of Trustees.

Cornell is a highly selective privately endowed research university, unique within the Ivy League because it is also the federal land-grant institution in New York State. With this unusual configuration, the University has a special responsibility to make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a manner that prioritizes public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, and the world. Founded in 1865 in the Finger Lakes region of central New York, Cornell’s undergraduate colleges and graduate and professional schools reach far beyond the main campus in Ithaca, New York. Campuses and programs stretch from Geneva, New York, to Doha, Qatar, and from Washington, DC, to Rome, Italy. Cornell is in solid financial condition with a balanced budget, a growing endowment, and an enviable history of attracting research funds. Weill Cornell Medicine leads many education, research, and clinical care activities in New York City, and Cornell’s impact in NYC is growing due to Cornell’s bold initiative to open a new graduate college, Cornell Tech.

The successful candidate should demonstrate outstanding leadership and management skills, and the ability to work well with a large, talented, and multi-faceted University leadership team as a strategic and legal advisor. The successful candidate must have graduated from an accredited school of law and be a member of the New York Bar or be eligible to practice law in the State of New York within one year or less. A minimum of ten years of legal practice is required, and substantially more relevant experience is desired.

For a complete list of the desired qualifications and characteristics, see the institutional profile at:

Nominations, applications, and inquiries may be sent in confidence. The search committee will begin reviewing applications after September 15, 2016, and consideration of applications will continue until an appointment is made. Application materials (to include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of five references—who will not be contacted without permission) should be electronically submitted to:

The search is being assisted by William F. Howard, Vice President & Senior Consultant for Academic Search, Inc., who can be reached at or 202-263-7489 for confidential discussions about this opportunity.

More information about Cornell University can be found at

Cornell University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action educator and employer. Read the full Equal Education and Employment Opportunity Statement.