Marc Gary, executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer of The Jewish Theological Seminary, comes to JTS from his most recent post as executive vice president and general counsel of Boston's Fidelity Investments, one of the world's largest providers of financial services. Recognized for innovative and transformational leadership in his role at Fidelity, Mr. Gary was pivotal in company management as a member of the firm's Executive Committee. He helped establish company strategy, set business objectives, and oversaw a legal department of more than 220 professionals. He is a former member of the JTS Board of Trustees (2006 to 2012), for which he served as chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force. He firmly believes that JTS is the institution best suited to answer the question: what unique contributions will Judaism make to individual lives and the North American community as a whole in the 21st century?
Previously, Mr. Gary rose to the position of executive vice president and general counsel at BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta, where he was a member of the chairman's Strategic Options Council and participated in the establishment and implementation of the firm's strategy. He chaired the Compliance Policy Board, and guided the company through negotiations that resulted in the consummation of one of the largest corporate mergers in business history. For almost 20 years, he was a partner and national litigation practice co-chair in the Washington DC office of Mayer Brown & Platt, an international law firm. During the early 1990s, he was appointed associate independent counsel in the U. S. Office of the Independent Counsel, where he investigated and prosecuted allegations of Cabinet-level criminal activity. An elected fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American Law Institute, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court as the first chair of the Georgia Civil Access to Justice Committee. He is the recipient of an official commendation by the Supreme Court of Georgia for "leadership, compassion, and professionalism"; the Pro Bono Institute's prestigious Zelon Award for promoting pro bono service and diversity in the legal profession; and a leadership award from American Friends of the Hebrew University.
At age 17, Mr. Gary was already on his way to a life of service and distinction when he became international president of United Synagogue Youth. His passion for Conservative Judaism eventually brought an invitation to join the board of directors of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, on which he served until 2012. Since 1998, he has been one of five lay members of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards. Mr. Gary also serves on the boards of Equal Justice Works and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. His previous board service has included the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, American Friends of the Hebrew University, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston, Weber Jewish Community High School of Atlanta, Corporate Counsel Institute of Georgetown University Law Center, Boston Bar Foundation, and Greater Boston Legal Services. He led successful fund-raising campaigns on behalf of several nonprofits, including Atlanta Legal Aid and Greater Boston Legal Services.
Marc Gary was born in Englewood, New Jersey. He earned his bachelor of arts degree with highest distinction (summa cum laude) in Slavic Languages and Literature at Northwestern University, and his juris doctor degree at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was case and note editor of the Georgetown University Law Journal. He also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Gary's wife, Michelle Kravtin Gary, is an attorney, a community volunteer on the boards of the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee in Boston, and a teacher in the Gateways program for Jewish youth with special needs. The Garys have two children: Philip, who is an assistant district attorney in New York City, and Tamar, who is enrolled in the master's of social work program at New York University.