Jorge Lopez Jr. Named Memorial Sloan Kettering’s General Counsel

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 11:20

Jorge Lopez Jr., a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, will become the new General Counsel for Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) on July 1. He will succeed Roger N. Parker, who held the role since 1998 and earlier this year announced his plan to retire after 41 years of exemplary service to MSK.

“Jorge has all the right skills and competencies to oversee MSK’s legal affairs. As a key member of our executive management team, he will also play an important role in helping to shape organizational strategy and mitigation of risk across the enterprise,” said Kathryn Martin, MSK’s Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Lopez has represented MSK on a variety of regulatory and legal matters for more than 20 years and has deep familiarity with healthcare and regulatory issues at both the federal and state level. He currently leads Akin Gump’s healthcare practice, as well as its overall government regulatory group, overseeing the activities of more than 40 attorneys and other professionals. Founded in 1945, Akin Gump has more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

During his tenure at Akin Gump, Lopez has represented some of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and companies in the healthcare sector.  

He is highly regarded  for his ability to help  clients navigate the complexities of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and related matters. Lopez is routinely ranked as one of the nation’s top lawyers for healthcare law, including by Chambers USA (2008 to 2016) and Best Lawyers in America (2013 to 16).

“For over three decades, Jorge has been a trusted counselor to clients and a respected and valued colleague to his fellow partners,” said Kim Koopersmith, Akin Gump’s Chairperson. “The skills that he brought to bear on our clients’ behalf and that fostered the growth and success of our healthcare practice — sound judgment, innovative thinking, and a thorough understanding of the law — will be the same qualities that will help him thrive in his new role. Although we are sorry to see him leave, we are thrilled that Memorial Sloan Kettering thinks as highly of Jorge as we do, and we wish him nothing but the best in this exciting new chapter in his career.”

A summa cum laude graduate of Catholic University of America with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Lopez also earned a master’s in economics from Catholic University and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He joined Akin Gump as an associate in 1984 and became a partner in 1993.

Lopez also served as a legal advisor to Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign from 1991 to 1992, providing advice to the campaign on delegate selection, ballot access, the electoral college, and other matters. A native of Cuba, Lopez immigrated to the United States as a child. He and his wife, Ruthanne, have three children.

Over the next several months, Mr. Lopez will work closely with Mr. Parker to familiarize himself with the full portfolio of MSK’s legal affairs and issues. Mr. Parker’s career at MSK began in 1975 when he was recruited as Director of Nursing Practice. He became Chair of Nursing in 1978 and later spent 15 years as Hospital Administrator before being appointed as General Counsel.