An older white man with a receding hairline and glasses looks out at the camera with a slight smile. He wears a suit and stands in front of a vague, blue background.

Ben W. Heineman, Jr.


Senior Fellow, HLS Program on Corporate Governance; Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center on the Legal Profession

Mr. Heineman is a distinguished senior fellow and advisory board member at the Center on the Legal Profession, senior fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance, and senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Heineman is also a member of the guest faculty at Harvard Law School Executive Education. He is a graduate of Harvard College (1965), a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University (1967, graduate degree/political science), and holds a law degree from Yale Law School (1971), where he was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.

After graduation, he clerked for Associate Justice Potter Stewart at the Supreme Court of the United States.Mr. Heineman practiced law in Washington before serving at HEW from 1977-1980, ending his tenure there as Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. He was then managing partner of the Washington office of Sidley & Austin, focusing on Supreme Court and test case litigation. In 1987, Mr. Heineman became Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of the General Electric Company located in Fairfield, Connecticut. In 2004, he was named GE’s Senior Vice President for Law and Public Affairs.

His book, High Performance with High Integrity, was published in June, 2008 by the Harvard Business Press. He is also the author of books on British race relations and the American presidency. He writes and lectures frequently on business, law and international affairs. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Science, Technology and Law and recipient of the American Lawyer’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award of Board Member magazine. He was named one of America’s 100 most influential lawyers by the National Law Journal, was named one of the 100 most influential individuals on business ethics by Ethisphere magazine and was named on of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors. He serves on the boards of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (chair of patient care committee), the Center for Strategic and International Studies (chair of program committee), Transparency International-USA (chair of program committee) and the Committee For Economic Development (chair of the corporate governance committee). He is a member of the board of trustees of Central European University. He is currently on an international panel advising the President of the World Bank on governance and anti-corruption. In May, 2011, Mr. Heineman was elected to the American Philosophical Society.


JD, Yale Law School, 1971
Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University, 1967
AB, Harvard College, 1965