July 16, 2013 10:44am PT by Eriq Gardner
NBCU Taps Obama Lawyer as General Counsel
NBCUniversal is re-shuffling the top of its legal department.
The Comcast-owned company has announced that Kimberley Harris has been named executive vice president and general counsel. She will be reporting directly to NBCU CEO Steve Burke when her appointment begins on September 3.
Harris succeeds Rick Cotton, who has been at the company since 1989 and has served as general counsel for NBCU since 2004. Known for being active on the piracy front, and after giving an indication last year that he would be stepping down, Cotton shifts over to the post of senior counselor for IP protection.
Harris will be charged with leading NBCU's legal department, which covers the company's film studio, two broadcast networks, 18 cable channels, more than 50 digital sites and theme park operations. She will also coordinate NBCU's global regulatory and legislative agenda.
“With extensive experience, proven leadership ability and a track record of success, Kim is a great choice to guide our law department,” said Burke in a statement. “I look forward to working closely with her in the months and years ahead.”
Harris is a veteran of President Barack Obama's administration. From 2010 to 2012, she served in the White House Counsel's Office, most recently as deputy counsel and deputy assistant to Obama. She is credited with developing and implementing the White House response to congressional investigations and managed litigation matters relating to the President.
Harris previously worked at the Justice Department.
Before she stepped into public service, she was an attorney at the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she joined as an associate in 1997 and worked her way up to litigation partner in 2007. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University, holds a law degree from Yale and was recently honored by the New York City chapter of the National Organizaiton for Women for her record in government and law.