Liz Barry has served as Special Counsel to three UM presidents and is currently of counsel to the office working on special projects. During her tenure in the office from 2013 to 2023, she served as a member of the university’s executive team facilitating their work on the president’s priorities and working closely with them on leadership strategies spanning the portfolio of the enterprise. Her key involvements have included the COVID-19 pandemic response, the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality, the Arts Initiative, the Biosciences Initiative, the University’s Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and the University’s 2017 Bicentennial.
Prior to joining the President’s Office, Ms. Barry served for 12 years as the inaugural managing director of the Life Sciences Institute, working closely with the director and faculty on operational and strategic matters. She also created and co-taught an interdisciplinary graduate course based in the Ross School entitled “The Business of Biology.” She served as the University’s interim co-general counsel and then associate vice president and deputy general counsel from 1997-2002, taking the lead in-house role on the university’s defense of its affirmative action policies. Ms. Barry is a certified executive coach and Foresight Essentials™ futuring practitioner as well as a member of the Michigan Bar.
Prior to coming to Michigan, she served as university Attorney at Harvard and was in private practice at Ropes & Gray in Boston.