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What do you do if your mother, father, and sister are all lawyers? If you’re Dara Altman, you join the profession too. “I had no choice,” she says. But Altman is a lawyer and then some. On January 12 she was named executive vice president of business and legal affairs at XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. In the newly created position, she manages new business development, business and legal affairs, the office of general counsel, human resources, and regulatory and governmental affairs. “I get to oversee all of the pieces of the puzzle that I have found fascinating,” Altman says. “The greatest gift legal training gives you is that you’re not daunted by anything that comes your way, because you’re trained to learn what you need to know and do in order to do a good job.” Altman joined XM from Discovery Communications, Inc., where she oversaw all business negotiations for the company’s global television assets as the executive vice president for business affairs. Prior to that, Altman was senior vice president and general counsel of Reiss Media Enterprises, Inc. There she worked alongside current XM president and CEO Hugh Panero, who was then president of Reiss subsidiary Request Television. “I’ve always been attracted to companies on the rise,” Altman says. “I didn’t want to miss the chance to work with Hugh and his team to help XM become one of the great media companies of the next decade.”

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