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TITLE: General counsel AGE: 40 ORGANIZATION: The Soros Foundations Network is made up of 32 separate foundations in 32 countries, which together represent one of the world’s largest private philanthropic foundations. Founded in 1993 by billionaire financier George Soros, the organization’s mission is to help develop more open societies, particularly in the former Soviet bloc. This year’s spending on economic development, the arts and culture, human rights, education, health care and other issues is expected to total between $300 million and $400 million. Hershenov, who is on maternity leave, is based in the network’s U.S. headquarters, in New York. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS: One case Hershenov is involved in is that of Soros foundation employee Rafael Marques, an Angolan journalist, poet and peace activist who was imprisoned without charge in Angola last fall after writing an article criticizing Angolan president Eduardo dos Santos. Hershenov helped orchestrate the international campaign to get Marques released and to overturn his conviction for criminal defamation. Among other things, she solicited prominent lawyers in Portugal, Brazil, England, Canada and the United States to write amicus briefs on Marques’ behalf. Marques is out of jail, awaiting an appeal. THE DEPARTMENT: Hershenov oversees a staff of four attorneys, most of whom have experience in international law. For example, the assistant general counsel, Russian-born Dennis Vinokourov, worked as an attorney in White & Case L.L.P.’s Moscow office for nearly two years before moving to the firm’s New York office. Now, he focuses on not-for-profit law compliance of Soros foundations in the former Soviet Union and business transactions in that region. INTERNATIONAL LAW: Because of the foundations’ economic development work, Hershenov spends much of her time on international business transactions, performing a quasi-business, quasi-legal role. For example, the Open Society Institute recently made a $2 million loan to a London construction company to rebuild war-torn areas in Kosovo and depressed areas of Albania and Macedonia. The legal work involved determining that the transaction qualified as a charitable investment under U.S. law; negotiating, drafting and executing the loan documents; and hiring local counsel to ensure that the work complied with local laws. Hershenov and her deputy general counsel, Ricardo Castro, also helped decide how the loan should be structured and made sure the construction company had the technical and financial expertise to carry out the project. MICROLENDING IN ROMANIA: Her department is working on a project to provide small business loans to doctors in Romania through a local commercial bank. The goal is to help privatize the medical sector and make health care more accessible in poor and rural areas of the country. “Our lawyers are negotiating with the bank for the overall agreement and coming up with the lending agreements with the doctors,” Hershenov explains. The attorneys are “developing all the paperwork and training the bank in how to implement it.” U.S. PROJECTS: Nearly 17% of the Soros Foundations Network’s spending goes to programs in America, including the Program on Media Policy, which is trying to promote public interest journalism on TV, radio and the Internet. The foundation was concerned about the growing concentration of media ownership in the hands of a few large companies. Hershenov wrote the proposal that got the program started. PRINCIPAL OUTSIDE COUNSEL: The five in-house attorneys handle the vast majority of the foundations’ legal work. But when her staff needs outside assistance, Hershenov generally turns to New York’s Schulte Roth & Zabel L.L.P., Soros’ personal attorneys; that firm advises the network on all areas of law. In addition, from time to time she also calls on two other New York firms: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; and Patterson, Belknap, Webb and Tyler L.L.P.; and Washington, D.C.-based Caplin and Drysdale Chartered. HIRING FOREIGN LAWYERS: Hershenov hires foreign counsel for most major international transactions. “A large part of my job is finding, training and supervising local counsel in the countries we operate in,” she says. When the Soros Economic Development Fund wanted to become a major shareholder in a Russian bank, Hershenov hired a local attorney to help navigate Russian banking regulations. She relies on word of mouth to find foreign attorneys and seeks input from outside counsel, foundation staff in the country in question, law firms with offices in the country and professors at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, which is part of the Soros network. ROUTE TO THE TOP: Hershenov graduated from Yale University in 1983 and Yale Law School in 1989. She then clerked for U.S. Judge Jack B. Weinstein, in the Eastern District of New York, followed by a Karpatkin fellowship at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York. She then spent three years at the New York office of Morrison & Foerster L.L.P., where she specialized in antitrust and intellectual property litigation. She was planning to return to the ACLU in 1994 when the Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute invited her to join as an associate general counsel and help start the new organization’s legal department. “At the time, I intended to only stay a year and then go back to public interest litigation. But I fell in love with the foundation” job, she says. She became GC for OSI and the Soros Foundations Network in 1996. WITNESSING HISTORY: Beginning in 1994, “I essentially commuted for a few years between New York and Budapest,” she says, doing legal work to help structure the Central European University, the first private, post-graduate university in the former Soviet bloc. SOROS FUNDING: Despite the recent financial problems experienced by the Soros funds, Soros has assured the foundations that funding will not be affected, Hershenov says. FAMILY: Hershenov and her husband, Daniel Pool, had their first child in May, a daughter, Elizabeth Rose. Pool is an author and is at work on his fourth book. LAST BOOKS READ: “Life Stories: Profiles From the New Yorker,” edited by David Remnick, and “The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991,” by Eric Hobsbawm.

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