Ira Millstein, senior partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Ira M. Millstein is credited with making corporate boards more aware of their responsibility to shareholders to ensure that companies are well-managed. He receives the Botwinick Prize for his pioneering work in the corporate governance movement and as a thought-leader in the field. For over two decades, Mr. Millstein has advocated increased director independence and has urged directors to participate in corporate strategy, rather than simply rubber-stamp management decisions. He currently advises the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on their efforts to improve corporate governance around the world.
“Ira Millstein has shown extraordinary leadership and he continues to impact the entire global community. His work has, in effect, legitimized the active corporate board,” stated Professor Feldberg. “He has consulted for some of the world's largest corporations, but he is an exceptional teacher and he has taught us all about ethical behavior in the boardroom. Ira and Mike Cook have championed very different issues, but they both have shown that good ethics and good corporate performance are not mutually exclusive.”
Ira M. Millstein is a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where, in addition to practicing in the areas of government regulation and antitrust law, he has counseled numerous boards on issues of corporate governance, including the boards of General Motors, Westinghouse, Bethlehem Steel, WellChoice (fka, Empire Blue Cross), the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), Tyco International, The Walt Disney Co., and the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Millstein serves as pro bono counsel to the Board of Directors of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency overseeing the redevelopment of lower Manhattan. He was also named to the board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, the entity charged with overseeing the fundraising and construction of the World Trade Center Memorial, and related museums and cultural facilities located at the World Trade Center site. Most recently, he was appointed Chairman of the New York State Commission on Public Authority Reform by Governor George Pataki.
In addition to his active legal practice, Mr. Millstein is the Senior Associate Dean for Corporate Governance and the Eugene F. Williams Jr. Visiting Professor in Competitive Enterprise and Strategy at the Yale School of Management. He serves as Chairman of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the Global Corporate Governance Forum founded by the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He served as Chairman of the OECD Business Sector Advisory Group on Corporate Governance in 1997-1998 and Co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees (sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers) in 1998-1999. In 1997, he was appointed by Vice-President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin to the U.S.-Russia Capital Markets Forum Working Group on Investor Protection. In 1996, Mr. Millstein chaired the National Association of Corporate Directors' Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism. He formerly has served as: Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Columbia University's Center for Law & Economic Studies' Institutional Investor Project; Chairman of the New York State Pension Investment Task Force; Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law; and Fellow of the Faculty of Government at Harvard University's J.F.K. School of Government.
A graduate of Columbia Law School, Mr. Millstein is a Life Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of the Central Park Conservancy, and Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He serves on the Advisory Council of Transparency International, and is a former member of the Yale School of Management Advisory Board. He is Governance Counsel to the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and a former board member. He is a former Chairman of the Antitrust Law Sections of both the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.