Board Member

Michele S. Warman

Experienced Practitioner in Residence, Columbia Law School

Michele S. Warman currently serves as experienced practitioner in residence for the Davis Polk Leadership Initiative at Columbia Law School.

Previously, Ms. Warman served as executive vice president, chief operating officer, general counsel, and secretary of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of the arts and humanities. She led the foundation’s overall operations and legal affairs, including finance, grant management, and human resources, and was secretary to the Board of Trustees. Over her 23-year tenure, Ms. Warman worked closely with multiple foundation presidents, boards, and staff in the day-to-day management of the foundation and in setting overall direction.  Ms. Warman also led grantmaking in Public Affairs, where she recommended grants in the areas of arts and disability, cultural and civic engagement, food insecurity, and racial understanding.

Ms. Warman received a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in 1982, where she received the M. Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the university’s highest undergraduate distinction; a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar; and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1988, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Prior to joining the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1999, Ms. Warman was an associate at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit. At Davis Polk, she represented Fortune 500 companies in litigation and provided counsel to corporate boards. In her pro bono practice, she represented civil rights groups in amici briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and indigent clients in litigation. Ms. Warman has been honored as one of New York’s Outstanding Women of the Bar by the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Ms. Warman is a member of the Boards of Trustees of the Southern Education Foundation and Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life. She serves as a selector for the Schmidt Science Fellowship, Schwarzman Scholarship, and MacArthur Foundation’s “Wise Head” panel in its 100&Change ($100 million grant) initiative. Ms. Warman is deeply committed to addressing the humanity of individuals with dementia and their caregivers. 

Please use the back button on your browser or click here to go back to all.