Preeta Bansal is a senior executive whose career has been at the intersection of law, public policy, government, academia, and global business. She is a Lecturer at the MIT Media Lab and a Senior Advisor at MIT’s Laboratory for Social Machines. She has served as a global general counsel for HSBC Holdings plc in London, general counsel and senior policy advisor in the Obama White House (Office of Management and Budget), partner and practice chair of leading international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in New York City, Solicitor General of the State of New York, constitutional law professor, and Chair of a federal government human rights commission focused on religious freedom and interfaith cooperation. A constitutional and intellectual property, media and technology lawyer by background, she is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard-Radcliffe College and a former law clerk to a U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1990-1991), and has been profiled by The New York Times as a “poised and playful” “superstar” and a “nimble, unorthodox thinker.” The New York Law Journal referred to her as “one of the most gifted lawyers of her generation, who combines a brilliant analytical mind with solid, mature judgment.”
Ms. Bansal has led or participated in United States diplomatic missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, China, Russia, Vietnam, Turkey, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to advance foreign policy concerns, and advised on the drafting of the Iraqi and Afghan constitutions. She is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Chatham House. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards including as a commissioner on New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s bipartisan Election Modernization Task Force, as an Advisory Committee member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and as a Board Member of the International Center for Research on Women.
Her present work relates to empowering communities and human networks through direct, self-regulating peer-to-peer and citizen-to-citizen engagement (facilitated by new technologies, emerging legal forms, and global ethical frameworks).