Attorney R. Gregory Morgan, formerly the co-managing partner of the prominent Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, will join MIT as the Institute's first vice president and general counsel, President Susan Hockfield announced today. Morgan will assume his new role on Jan. 15.
Hockfield announced Morgan's appointment in a letter e-mailed to the MIT community today. She described Morgan as an exceptionally thoughtful lawyer and counselor with a distinguished career, who is highly regarded by both peers and clients.
"We are fortunate to be able to rely on the breadth and depth of Greg Morgan's experience. He will add an important dimension to MIT's senior leadership team and, as the Institute's first general counsel, will play a pivotal role in shaping our approach to legal and regulatory affairs in the years ahead," Hockfield said in her letter.
Morgan's clients included Berkshire Hathaway Inc., whose CEO, famed investor and businessman Warren E. Buffett, praised Morgan's abilities. "Greg Morgan was an enormous asset to Berkshire Hathaway when he worked with me in countless matters over the years. He will be of equal value to MIT. The university could not have made a better choice," Buffett said in a statement.
Morgan joined the Munger firm in 1981 after clerking for Judge J. Edward Lumbard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. of the U.S. Supreme Court. He became a partner in the firm in 1986 and was elected its co-managing partner in 2003. A corporate transactional partner, practicing in the area of securities law and mergers and acquisitions, he has represented corporations, families and individuals in business acquisitions and complex financings in the United States and abroad. He has also served as a counselor to senior management and boards of directors on issues of corporate strategy, conflicts of interest and related-party transactions, and internal investigations.
"I cannot imagine a more challenging, important or exciting opportunity than to serve as general counsel to an institution inventing the future," Morgan said. "I am honored to be invited into the MIT community. Throughout my career, I have enjoyed the good fortune of working closely with extraordinary clients; I look forward to working with and learning from the Institute's remarkable faculty, students and administrators."
Morgan graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles and from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was article and book review editor for the Michigan Law Review. He has taught law at the UCLA Law School and USC Law Center and has also been a lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Since leaving private practice last year to explore opportunities in the nonprofit, educational and public sectors, Morgan has served as an adviser to and director of nonprofit institutions and corporations. He is married to Virginia Popper, a paleoethnobotanist.
In her letter, Hockfield thanked the committee that advised her in the search for MIT's first general counsel. The committee was co-chaired by James A. Champy, a member of the executive committee of the MIT Corporation, and Ann J. Wolpert, director of the MIT Libraries. Committee members included Corporation member Susan Whitehead and Professors Lotte Bailyn, Marc H. Kastner, Steven R. Lerman and Jeffrey H. Shapiro. The committee "unanimously and enthusiastically supported the selection of Greg Morgan," Hockfield said.