168th Commencement: Watch Live
Gail Norris '83 was named vice president and general counsel for the University of Rochester, effective Jan. 1, 2013, after a national search.
Norris, a former trustee of Albany Law School, joined the University of Rochester in 2005, and subsequently served as senior legal counsel for all aspects of operations, including litigation management, risk management, business and tax matters, and conflicts of interest. She has managed complex legal matters related to research, technology transfer and licensing at the university.
In March 2007, Norris became director of the College Office of Technology Transfer, developing strategies for the licensing and commercialization of intellectual property. In 2009, she was named vice provost of technology transfer, responsible for the development of university-wide policies in this area, as well as the procedures for review of invention disclosures, patenting and licensing.
Norris began her legal career in the city of Rochester in 1983 as an associate at Nixon Peabody LLP. For a decade beginning in 1990, she served as partner in Nixon Peabody's corporate law practice, representing private and public companies worldwide on a broad range of transactions and counseling issues, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
In 2000, Norris joined the biopharmaceutical firm Celltech Americas in Rochester as vice president, general counsel and secretary, and she was responsible for all legal matters for the U.K.-based company's U.S. operations. From 2003 to 2004, she also served as executive sponsor of product life cycle management at Celltech, providing overall project leadership for a cross-functional team of 15 scientists and managers focused on growth strategy and expansion.
Norris is a regular blogger for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, writing on innovation, entrepreneurship and small business issues. She is also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the National Association of College and University Attorneys.