(Press Release) The Center for Reproductive Rights, a global human rights organization, today announced that Andrew “Andy” Sommer will become its inaugural General Counsel, serving on the Center’s Executive Team and overseeing all legal, compliance, and risk management matters, as well as the nonprofit’s extensive pro bono legal program.
Mr. Sommer joins the Center following a 35-year career at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he was a partner, General Counsel, and a member of the Management Committee. Debevoise is a leading New York based global law firm with offices in seven countries, and the firm is a top pro bono partner of the Center for Reproductive Rights, working on representations in both its U.S. and global legal programs.
“At a time when we are facing significant challenges to our mission, we can think of no one better to be our inaugural General Counsel,” said Nancy Northup, President & CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Andy has peerless integrity, an incisive intellect, and he is uncommonly wise. We look forward to adding him to our leadership team.”
Mr. Sommer said, “I am honored to be joining this extraordinary and dedicated team of lawyers and advocates in the fight for women’s reproductive rights around the world.”
Prior to becoming Debevoise’s first General Counsel, Mr. Sommer represented a wide range of corporate clients and financial intermediaries in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, corporate governance and other corporate matters. In the early 1990s, he was the Managing Partner of the firm’s Budapest Office, responsible for opening the office after the fall of the Berlin Wall. From 2001 through 2005, he was the Managing Partner of the firm’s London office. Under his leadership, the London office experienced unprecedented growth as the office added more than 50 lawyers to become the firm’s second largest office.
Mr. Sommer recently completed a year-long fellowship at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, a joint program of the schools of business, law, public health, education, and government. The Initiative brings together a class of 45 experienced leaders from around the world to broaden their skills to solve social issues. He is a member of the Board of Directors of EngenderHealth, a sexual and reproductive health and rights organization that operates in 20 developing countries.
Mr. Sommer is a graduate of NYU School of Law and Brown University.
About the Center for Reproductive Rights
The Center for Reproductive Rights uses the power of law to advance reproductive rights as fundamental human rights around the world. Headquartered in New York City, the non-profit, non-partisan organization has regional offices in Bogota, Geneva, Nairobi, and Washington, DC. Since its founding in 1992, the Center has been involved in every major abortion rights case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court including winning Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt in 2016. This year, just four years after that victory, the Center is back at the Supreme Court fighting to preserve that win and the constitutional guarantee of the right to abortion in June Medical Services v. Russo.
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