TopVet: Harry J. Pearce, Hughes Electronics

Harry J. Pearce

Harry J. Pearce, a member of the General Motors Corporation Board of Directors and vice chairman of the corporation, is the new Chairman of Hughes Electronics. In accepting his new position, Mr. Pearce has resigned from his positions at G.M.

While at G.M., Mr. Pearce, who had been an executive vice president since 1992, had wide-ranging responsibilities for such areas as government relations, corporate strategy, environmental and energy issues, and information systems and services. He was also responsible for the overall relationship between General Motors and its key information-technology supplier, Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS). Mr. Pearce, who had been general counsel with responsibility for GM’s legal staff from May 1987 to August 1994, joined G.M. as associate general counsel in 1985, assuming responsibility for all product litigation and product safety matters worldwide.

Previously, he had been a senior partner in the firm of Pearce & Durick of Bismarck, North Dakota. In that capacity, he represented GM and other industrial companies nationwide in a variety of product liability cases for 15 years.

Mr. Pearce, a Bismarck native, received a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences from the United States Air Force Academy in 1964, and earned his juris doctor degree from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1967, where he was a Hardy Scholar. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1997, and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Northwestern University School of Law in 1998.

During his service career, Mr. Pearce served as a Staff Judge Advocate in the Air Force and was certified as a military judge. On his return to civilian life, he joined a law firm in Bismarck. He was a municipal judge in Bismarck from 1970-76 and also served as United States Commissioner and U.S. Magistrate.

Mr. Pearce has been a member of several boards of directors, including those of the Hughes Electronics Corporation, General Motors Acceptance Corporation, Marriott International, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the National Defense University Foundation, the Detroit Investment Fund, the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link, the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation, the Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation.

He also serves as chairman of the Bone Marrow Foundation’s Board of Directors, and is a member of Wayne State University’s School of Medicine’s Board of Visitors. He is also chairman of both the United States Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors, and the Air Force Academy’s Sabre Society, and is a trustee of Northwestern University, Howard University, United States Council for International Business, and New Detroit Inc.

Mr. Pearce is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a fellow in the International Society of Barristers. He is chairman of the Product Liability Advisory Council Foundation and a founding member of the Minority Counsel Demonstration Program of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession.

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