John R. Ettinger

Chief Executive Officer

John R. Ettinger is the Chief Executive Officer at The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Prior to joining the Trust, Mr. Ettinger served as the Managing Partner at the global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP from 1999 through 2011, where he successfully led and helped manage a broad expansion of the 160 year-old firm’s practice both domestically and internationally. 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. The firm’s lawyers routinely represent the largest multi-national corporations and financial institutions on their most complex transactions, advisory and litigation matters. Mr. Ettinger joined Davis Polk in 1979 and became a partner in 1986.  He has represented clients in mergers, acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, securities offerings, restructurings, takeover defensesand corporate governance issues. He regularly represented leading investment banks in a wide variety of matters. 

Mr. Ettinger 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, and a director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.  Mr. Ettinger 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.