President Barbara R. Snyder announced today that Peter M. Poulos will become the university’s general counsel and deputy secretary of the corporation effective Feb. 1, while current General Counsel Elizabeth “Libby” Keefer will continue to serve as senior vice president for administration and secretary of the corporation.
“In recent years Peter has played an increasingly critical role in our legal affairs, and he has distinguished himself at every turn,” President Snyder said. “This appointment broadens his leadership opportunities, and at the same time allows Libby to focus her energies on her other full-time role of overseeing administration.”
Poulos joined Case Western Reserve in 2007 after several years representing the university as a partner in the Cleveland office of Taft Stettinius & Hollister. During his time on campus, he has served as chief litigation officer and chief risk management officer, and ultimately became deputy general counsel. His work has involved matters relating to student affairs, intellectual property, and potential legal actions against the university. He also has participated extensively in negotiations involving agreements with University Hospitals and MetroHealth Medical Center.
“This appointment represents a truly humbling honor,” said Poulos, who graduated from the university’s law school in 1990. “Libby has set a standard of excellence in leadership and strategic thinking that has made all of us wiser and more effective. I am deeply grateful that she remains on campus, and look forward to working with her in her administrative role.”
Keefer became Case Western Reserve’s general counsel in 2011, following service in the private sector, federal government and 11 years as Columbia University’s general counsel. Here, she has played integral roles in the Health Education Campus agreements, the 2016 University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center affiliation, and the creation of an Office of Title IX led by a full-time assistant vice president. Upon the retirement of John Wheeler in 2015, Keefer agreed to President Snyder’s request that she also assume the position of senior vice president for administration. That position involves “oversight of human resources, campus planning and facilities management.”
“Libby Keefer’s contributions to this university cannot be overstated,” President Snyder said. “Her intellect, insight, and ability to anticipate emerging issues is simply unparalleled—as is her compassion for colleagues. Case Western Reserve is fortunate to have had her serve as general counsel these past eight years, and now to have her continue as senior vice president.”