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Senior Counsel, WilmerHale

American Academy Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2008

Benjamin Heineman has been senior counsel at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP since 2005. He previously served as senior vice president and general counsel at General Electric, which he joined in 1987.


Heineman received his BA from Harvard University and won a Rhodes Scholarship to complete his MA at the University Oxford, before receiving his JD from Yale Law School. He began his legal career as a staff attorney for the Center for Law & Social Policy in Washington, DC; moving on to become a litigator at Williams & Connolly. He then served as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation with the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Carter before becoming a managing partner at Sidley & Austin, where he focused on Supreme Court and test case litigation. Among his professional activities, Heineman is a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a senior advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He also serves on the boards of the CSIS, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Transparency International USA, and the National Constitution Center.


Heineman researches and writes on a variety of topics, including globalization, anticorruption, corporate citizenship, dispute resolution, the legal profession, British race relations, and the American presidency. In 2006, he was named one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal.

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