Ira M. Millstein

Adjunct Professor of Law and Business, and Chair, Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership

Tel: 212-310-8100
Areas of Expertise
  • Antitrust and competition
  • Corporate governance
  • Securities litigation
  • Columbia University, B.S., 1947
  • Columbia Law School, J.D., 1949

Bar Admissions

Southern District New York; US Supreme Court; US Court of Appeals 1st Cir.; US Court of Appeals 2nd Cir.; US Court of Appeals 3rd Cir.; US Court of Appeals 4th Cir.; US Court of Appeals 9th Cir.; US Ct App Federal Circuit; Northern District New York; New York State


Ira M. Millstein is a senior partner at the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where in addition to practicing in the areas of government regulation and antitrust law, he has counseled numerous boards on issues of corporate governance, including the boards of General Motors, Westinghouse, Bethlehem Steel, WellChoice (fka, Empire Blue Cross), the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), Tyco International, The Walt Disney Co., the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority, The Ford Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, among others.

In addition to his active legal practice, Mr. Millstein is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Co-Chair of The Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. He was formerly the Senior Associate Dean for Corporate Governance and the Theodore Nierenberg Adjunct Professor of Corporate Governance at the Yale School of Management.

Mr. Millstein, appointed by former Governor George Pataki as Chairman of a New York State Commission on Public Authority Reform, which led to the 2009 Public Authorities Reform Act, is Chairman of the Governor's Task Force on implementation of the Act. He is also currently a Co-Chair of Governor Cuomo’s NYS Ready Commission.

Mr. Millstein is Chairman Emeritus, having served as Chairman from 1999-2005, of the Private Sector Advisory Group to the Global Corporate Governance Forum founded by The World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). He served as Chairman of the OECD Business Sector Advisory Group on Corporate Governance in 1997-1998 and Co-Chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees (sponsored by the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers) in 1998-1999. In 1997, he was appointed by Vice-President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin to the U.S.-Russia Capital Markets Forum Working Group on Investor Protection. In 1996, Mr. Millstein chaired the National Association of Corporate Directors' Blue Ribbon Commission on Director Professionalism. He formerly has served as Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Columbia University's Center for Law & Economic Studies' Institutional Investor Project; Chairman of the New York State Pension Investment Task Force; Adjunct Professor at New York University School of Law; and Fellow of the Faculty of Government at Harvard University's J.F.K. School of Government.

An Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Mr. Millstein is a frequent lecturer and author on corporate governance, antitrust, and government regulation. In 2001, he received the first Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance by the International Corporate Governance Network. In June 2006, the National Law Journal named Mr. Millstein to its list of 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.

Mr. Millstein is a Life Trustee and former Chairman of the Board of the Central Park Conservancy (1991-1999), Chairman Emeritus and member of the Board of Overseers of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1977-present), Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the American Red Cross of Greater New York (2008-present) and Emeritus Director for New Yorkers for Parks. Mr. Millstein is a member of the Board of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center, serves as legal counsel to the Private Sector Systemic Risk Council and serves as pro bono counsel to the Board of Directors of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the agency overseeing the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. He serves on the Advisory Council of Transparency International, is a former member of the Yale School of Management Advisory Board, former member of the Board of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and former Chairman of the NACD's Center for Board Leadership. Mr. Millstein is also a former Chairman of the Antitrust Law Sections of both the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Millstein is a graduate of Columbia Law School and holds a B.S. in Engineering from Columbia College.

Selected Publications

  • The Recurrent Crisis in Corporate Governance (co-author, Palgrave, 2003; paperback by Stanford University Press, August 2004)
  • A trilogy of articles published in The Business Lawyer
    • "The Evolution of the Certifying Board" (1992)
    • "The Professional Board" (1995)
    • "The Responsible Board" (1997)
  • The Limits of Corporate Power (co-author, MacMillan, 1981)
  • The Impact of the Modern Corporation (co-editor, Columbia University Press, 1984)
  • The Battle for Corporate Control: Shareholder Rights, Stakeholder Interests, and Managerial Responsibility (contributing author, New York University, 1991)
  • "Can the Board of Directors Help the American Corporation Earn the Immortality It Holds So Dear?" in The U.S. Business Corporation: An Institution in Transition (contributing co-author, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Ballinger Publishing Co., 1988)