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MLA Places Phyllis Harris as American Red Cross’s General Counsel

Hanover, MD (February 14, 2019) — Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s leading legal search firm, today announced the placement of Phyllis P. Harris as general counsel for the American Red Cross, the world’s largest humanitarian volunteer network dedicated to providing relief to victims of disaster, blood to hospital patients, health and safety training to the public, and emergency social services to U.S. military families. The search was led by Deborah Ben-Canaan, partner and head of MLA’s In-House Practice Group in Washington, D.C., and Elizabeth Long, director in MLA’s In-House Practice Group in Philadelphia.

In her new role, Phyllis will be leading strategic and tactical legal initiatives, providing comprehensive legal advice to the president and CEO, board of governors and various business unit executives, while managing overall legal risk and compliance for the organization. She will also manage the in-house legal function and the Office of Investigations, Compliance and Ethics.

“Phyllis was the ideal fit for the Red Cross’s general counsel role as she is mission-driven and has an extensive legal background with a combination of government and corporate experience,” said Deborah Ben-Canaan. “Not only is Phyllis ethical, agile and strategic, she also possesses an innovative and executive presence that seamlessly fits with Red Cross’s culture.”

Phyllis joins Red Cross after 13 years with Walmart, where she most recently served as senior vice president and general counsel of legal operations, managing a team of 70 attorneys and support staff while developing and implementing transformational legal and compliance programs.

Prior to joining Walmart, Phyllis spent two decades with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), working as the deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in Washington, D.C., and as regional counsel in Atlanta. In 2001, she was conferred the rank of Meritorious Executive by President George W. Bush for sustained superior accomplishments.

Phyllis is highly active in her community serving as the chairman of the Converse College Board of Trustees as well as a board director for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Advisory Board for the Council on Legal Education Opportunity and the Advisory Board of the Wake Forrest Graduate School of Sustainability. 

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