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Meet Our 2016 PBI Annual Dinner Co-Chairs

Michael-Fricklas-squareMichael Fricklas
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
and Secretary
Viacom Inc.

Mr. Fricklas has been General Counsel and Secretary of Viacom and its predecessors since 1998, after starting with Viacom in 1993 as Deputy General Counsel. Prior to 1993, Mr. Fricklas was general counsel of a large natural resources company and prior to that was in private law practice specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, venture capital and technology law.

Among other charitable and bar activities, he is Secretary of the Board of Jazz at Lincoln Center, a member of the Board of Overseers of Boston University, and co-chair of the UJA Entertainment, Media and Communications division, and also served as a past president of the Association of General Counsel. Mr. Fricklas received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 1981 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1984.

Brad-Smith-squareBradford Smith
President and
Chief Legal Officer
Microsoft Corporation

Smith is Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

In this role Smith is responsible for the company’s corporate, external, and legal affairs.  He leads a team of more than 1,300 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries. These teams are responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, patent licensing business, corporate philanthropy, government affairs, public policy, corporate governance, and social responsibility work. He is also Microsoft’s chief compliance officer.  Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, among others

Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States.

Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments around the world and with companies across the IT sector. He has played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on government surveillance, privacy, intellectual property, immigration and computer science education policy issues. As the senior executive responsible for ensuring Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities, he has helped the company achieve its consistent ranking in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, business and legal initiatives. In 2013 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. In 2014, the New York Times called Smith “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large.”

In addition to his work at Microsoft, Smith is active in several civic and legal organizations and in the broader technology industry. In March 2015, Smith joined the Netflix board of directors. He also works to advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, serving as chair of the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and as chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). In addition, Smith chairs the board of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program, at the appointment of the governor.

Smith grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Green Bay was the big city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy (also a lawyer), and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an associate and then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed at

Laura-Stein-squareLaura Stein
Senior Vice President – General Counsel
The Clorox Company – Spotlight

Laura Stein was named executive vice president – general counsel of The Clorox Company in February 2015. She is responsible for the company’s worldwide legal, ethics and compliance, corporate secretary, corporate communications, crisis management, risk management and internal audit matters, a role she assumed in 2005 as senior vice president – general counsel and corporate secretary. Stein serves on the Clorox executive committee, chairs the Clorox women’s employee resource group, and co-sponsors the company’s social responsibility and enterprise risk management programs, among other responsibilities. She also works closely with Clorox’s board of directors on governance matters.

Previously, Stein was senior vice president – general counsel of the H.J. Heinz Company, a member of the Heinz senior management committee, a director of the H.J. Heinz Company Foundation and president of the Heinz women’s group, among other responsibilities. Before her tenure at Heinz, she served as an assistant general counsel – regulatory affairs at Clorox and a corporate lawyer with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Throughout her career, Stein has served on many boards and been active in professional organizations. She currently is a director of Franklin Resources, Inc. (a global investment organization known as Franklin Templeton Investments) and Canadian National Railway Company (CN, a North American transportation company) and was previously a director of Nash Finch Company (a large food distributor). She is co-chair of the Corporate Pro Bono Advisory Board and is on the board of Equal Justice Works, the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, the Harvard Law School Program on the Future of the Legal Profession and the International Association of Women Judges. She is a member of the American Law Institute Council and the executive committee of the Association of General Counsel. Previously, Stein was chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the Association of General Counsel, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, the ABA Asia Rule of Law Initiative and Equal Justice Works; vice-chair of the East Bay Community Law Center; co-chair of the General Counsel Committee of the ABA Business Law Section; and a director of Global Education Partnership, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She previously also served on the advisory boards of ABA DirectWomen, the ABA Center for Human Rights, and the LexMundi Foundation, and on the State Bar of California Task Force on Lawyer Support for Legal Services, the ABA Section of International Law Council and the ABA Presidential Task Force on the Preservation of Justice. Stein previously participated in the Diversity and Flexibility Connection of the Project for Attorney Retention.

Stein’s work has been recognized by numerous organizations. She has received the ABA Margaret Brent Award, the Legal Momentum Women of Achievement Award, the Sandra Day O’Connor Board Excellence Award, the Ted Craig Humanitarian Award and the Corporate Board Member America’s Top General Counsel Recognition Award. The National Law Journal has named Stein as one of the 20 most influential general counsel in America. The Harvard Law Bulletin has highlighted her as one of 50 alumnae who “have used their law degree to take them to extraordinary places.” She has also been named one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times and one of Pennsylvania’s Best Women in Business by Pennsylvania’s governor.

Stein received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where she earned undergraduate and master’s degrees. She speaks six languages and has lived in China and Italy.