Derek Davis


General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs, City University of New York; Executive Director, HLS Center on the Legal Profession (2013-2020)

Derek Davis is the general counsel and senior vice chancellor for legal affairs of the City University of New York (CUNY).

As general counsel, Mr. Davis reports to CUNY’s chairperson of the Board of Trustees and the chancellor. The general counsel also serves as the chief ethics officer of the University.

Mr. Davis earned two degrees from Boston University: A Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in 1986 from the College of Arts and Sciences and a Juris Doctorate from the School of Law, in 1989.

Prior to joining CUNY in December 2019, Mr. Davis served as the executive director of the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession. Mr. Davis, who began practicing law in 1989, served as a business attorney, counseling clients on a broad spectrum of corporate matters including venture capital financings, private placements of securities, mergers and acquisitions, public project finance and other transactions for a variety of industries. His practice also involved counseling individuals and entities in corporate and public policy-related matters regarding non-profit institutions and institutions of higher education.

During his 23 years in the practice of law, Mr. Davis practiced at the firms Foley Hoag, LLP; Goldstein & Manello, LLP; Nutter McClennen & Fish, LLP; Peabody & Arnold, LLP; and Greenberg Traurig, LLP.