The new chief legal officer joins Dartmouth from Oberlin College.
Sandhya Subramanian has been named Dartmouth’s next general counsel. Currently the vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, Subramanian will begin work at Dartmouth on July 1.
“The position of general counsel is critical to almost everything Dartmouth does, from ensuring that we comply with the letter and spirit of the law to helping us enact our vision for the future,” says President Phil Hanlon ’77. “Sandhya Subramanian has the expertise and judgment needed for this important role. I’m delighted to welcome her to Hanover.”
As general counsel, Subramanian will be the College’s chief legal officer, serving on the president’s senior leadership team and advising the president, board of trustees, faculty, and administration on a range of legal and strategic matters, from civil rights and employee relations issues to questions about intellectual property, governance, student affairs, philanthropic agreements, and regulatory compliance, among others. She will also oversee the staff of the Office of the General Counsel and the operations of the Office of Visa and Immigration Services.
“I am exhilarated at the prospect of working with President Hanlon and the Dartmouth community to advance the College’s academic vision,” says Subramanian. “I am inspired by Dartmouth’s dedication to interdisciplinary education, scholarship, and innovation, grounded in a commitment to creating lifelong learners and responsible leaders. I am deeply honored by this opportunity.”
Subramanian brings extensive legal expertise in higher education. She joined Oberlin as general counsel in 2008, and before that was chief attorney for the U.S. Department of Education Cleveland Office for Civil Rights. There, among other duties, she managed teams investigating federal civil rights violations by educational institutions.
A graduate of Yale—from which she earned a BS summa cum laude in chemistry and women’s studies and a JD—Subramanian first gained experience in litigation at the firm Ropes & Gray in Boston, and clerked for the Honorable Sidney Thomas at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Billings, Mont.
In 1998 she moved to Washington, D.C., where, as policy counsel for the National Partnership for Women and Families (formerly the Women’s Legal Defense Fund), she worked to improve family and medical leave policy and on issues of gender discrimination, and co-authored an amicus curiae brief for a Title IX case that was brought successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 2000, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division as special counsel in the special litigation section. She received five performance awards during her time at Justice and at the Department of Education, which she joined in 2005. At Justice, she also received a special achievement award and a special commendation for outstanding service.
Subramanian has served on the board of directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Community Foundation of Lorain County, and currently serves on the board of the Yale Law Journal. She has also served on the United Educators Legal Advisory Committee.
Subramanian takes on the general counsel role as Robert Donin retires in June. Donin has served as Dartmouth’s general counsel for 16 years.
“I’m grateful for the dedicated service and impeccable judgment Bob has provided to Dartmouth over many years,” says Hanlon. “I also want to extend my thanks to the search committee for their diligence in finding the best candidate to fill his shoes.”
Vice President for Communications Justin Anderson, who chaired the search committee, says, “Sandhya distinguished herself among a deep and talented pool of exceptionally qualified candidates. Her legal experience and passion for Dartmouth’s mission position her remarkably well to be Dartmouth’s next general counsel.”
In addition to Anderson, search committee members were Sonu Bedi, an associate professor of government; Carolyn Dever, provost; Evelynn Ellis, vice president for Institutional Diversity and Equity; Leslie Henderson, dean of faculty affairs and associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the Geisel School of Medicine; Punam Keller, associate dean for innovation and growth at the Tuck School of Business; Rick Mills, executive vice president; and Ben Wilson ’73, a Dartmouth trustee and attorney. The search committee was assisted by Academic Search, Inc.