Meet Our New Chair: Helen Pudlin Takes on the Role of Board Leader

Meet Our New Chair: Helen Pudlin Takes on the Role of Board Leader

During this spring’s quarterly board meeting, The Wistar Institute proudly announced the election of Helen P. Pudlin, Esq. as chair of the Institute’s board of trustees.

Helen P. Pudlin, Esq.Pudlin, executive vice president and general counsel of The PNC Financial Services Group, is the 18th chair of the board and the first woman to hold the position since the independent biomedical research institute was founded in 1892.

Pudlin has been a member of Wistar’s board since 2001, serving as co-vice chair since 2007, and as chair of the board’s nominating and governance committee.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Ms. Pudlin over the last decade, and her guidance has directly contributed to the Institute’s success,” said Wistar President and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. “Wistar is expanding, growing its faculty, its programs, and building a new research facility for its scientists. I can think of no one better suited than Helen to help lead us into our very bright future.”

As chair, Pudlin replaces Brian H. Dovey, who has served in the role since 2005. During his time as chair, Dovey, a partner in the venture capital firm Domain Associates, oversaw changes in Wistar’s executive and scientific leadership and the development of the Institute’s current research agenda, culminating this past September with the groundbreaking of a seven-story advanced research tower on Wistar’s campus. Dovey will remain an active member of the Wistar board, which he joined in 1998.

“We are grateful to Mr. Dovey for his leadership and strategic vision, which set Wistar on the path toward our new building, and established partnerships within the life sciences industry to help move our scientific discoveries out of the laboratory and into the marketplace where they can improve public health,” Kaufman said. “For more than a century, each chair of Wistar’s board of trustees has left his own legacy at the Institute. Brian’s legacy of excellence will be long-remembered.”

“I greatly appreciate the support and kindness from, not only my colleagues on the board, but the leadership, faculty, and staff of the entire institute. We are all stakeholders in Wistar’s continued success,” said Pudlin. “Wistar is a remarkable place with a fascinating history and a promising future in scientific discovery, and I am privileged to be a part of it.”

Pudlin joined PNC, Philadelphia, as general counsel in 1989 from the law firm of Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia, where she was a partner. She was elected senior vice president and deputy general counsel for PNC in 1992 and became a managing general counsel and subsequently general counsel in 1994. She was named executive vice president in February 2009.

In addition to her service on Wistar’s board, Pudlin is on the board of overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the board of managing directors of The Clearing House Association L.L.C., the Lawyers Council of the Financial Services Roundtable and the board of directors of the Pig Iron Theater Company. She also is a member of the International Women’s Forum of Western Pennsylvania.

Pudlin also has served as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, served on the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the House of Delegates and Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. In 1997, she was honored as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business. In 2005, she received the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 2007, she was named to Diversity Journal’s list of “Women Worth Watching” in 2008. In 2010, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction by The Legal Intelligencer. In 2011, she was honored at the Girls Inc. New York Luncheon Celebrating Women of Achievement and received the Pennsylvania Most Powerful and Influential Women Award by the National Diversity Council.

Pudlin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a bachelor of arts degree and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her juris doctorate degree from that University’s School of Law.