Tuesday, August 23, 2016

University of Minnesota appoints new General Counsel

From Eric Kaler and Dean Johnson:

Dear University of Minnesota Faculty and Staff,

We are pleased to announce Douglas Peterson as the new General Counsel for the University of Minnesota. Doug will begin his new role on September 19, 2016, pending Board of Regents approval.

Doug comes to the University of Minnesota from Stinson Leonard Street LLP, a top 100 law firm with an office in Minneapolis. There, he was a partner practicing in the areas of complex business litigation and white-collar defense. Previously, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota where he tried a variety of criminal cases and argued numerous cases before the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He has also served as a clerk for the Honorable Robert G. Renner, U.S. District Judge for the District of Minnesota.

Doug received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude in economics from Yale University. A native of Mankato, Minnesota, Doug has a deep understanding and appreciation of the singular impact the University of Minnesota has on our state and the world.

As chief legal officer of the University of Minnesota system, Doug will provide legal services to the Board of Regents and senior leadership, and will lead the Office of the General Counsel. The General Counsel oversees the remarkably varied legal needs of the University system, covering litigation and transactional matters.  This includes managing the University's legal representation in all litigation and administrative proceedings, with hundreds of such cases pending each year. As well, all University contracts relating to employment, purchasing, real estate, patents and technology marketing, sponsored research, external sales and other activities are subject to General Counsel review. 

The Office of the General Counsel has a record of providing excellent customer service and achieving high levels of employee engagement. Doug will work to build on this strong foundation to deliver exceptional legal services to the institution. The General Counsel is an extraordinarily important role, and we are confident that Doug's knowledge of the law and extensive litigation and public sector experience will ensure a smooth transition.

We want to thank former Law School Dean David Wippman and alumnus Bruce Mooty for co-chairing the search committee. We are also grateful to all of the search committee members who conducted a thorough and rigorous national process to identify and advance an exceptional pool of candidates. Our gratitude also goes out to those in the campus community, including Regents, who participated in candidate interviews and shared their assessments of the candidates.

Please also join us in thanking General Counsel Bill Donohue, who is retiring September 1, for his incredible 34 years of service to the University. Bill's commitment to public service and his leadership have made the University and our state a better place. 

Greg Brown, Associate General Counsel, will serve as Interim General Counsel from September 2, 2016 to September 18, 2016. We also want to thank Greg for serving in this capacity. 

Please join us in welcoming Doug Peterson to the University of Minnesota.


Dean E. Johnson
Chair, Board of Regents

Eric W. Kaler

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