John R. Ettinger

Chief Executive Officer

John R. Ettinger is the Chief Executive Officer at the Helmsley Charitable Trust, having joined the Trust in that role in 2012.  Prior to the Trust, John served as the Managing Partner at the global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP from 1999 through 2011, having become a partner in 1986.  Davis Polk has more than 1,500 lawyers and professional staff in 10 offices across major financial centers in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  John represented clients in mergers, acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, securities offerings, restructurings, takeover defenses and corporate governance issues.  He regularly represented leading investment banks in a wide variety of matters. 

John has had a strong commitment to public service throughout his career.  His community activities have included serving as a trustee of the Phillips Exeter Academy, a director of Communities in Schools, Inc. (a national dropout prevention organization, which serves more than 1.3 million students), a member of the Yale University Council, a member of the Advisory Board of the Harvard Law School Program on the Legal Profession, and a director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.  John is a graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy, received a B.A. from Yale University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Merton College at Oxford University, and received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Law Review.