Trager had been a member of the publishing giant’s nine-lawyer department for 13 years, eventually becoming vice president and deputy counsel. She left to attend Columbia University Teachers College and then worked as a reading specialist at St. Ann’s, an elementary school in Harlem. “You really do fall in love with the children,” says Trager, who had volunteered in New York City schools for years. Although she calls the decision to leave teaching a tough one, she says she missed the law. And, she admits, “I’m a better lawyer than a teacher.” She convinced one of her classmates to take her job at St. Ann’s and maintains close ties with the school.

As Random House, Inc.’s senior vice president and general counsel, Trager, 53, reports to the executive vice president and CFO. She oversees all legal matters for a number of well-known imprints, including Bantam-Dell, Knopf, Doubleday Broadway, and Crown.

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