College of Medicine
Michael Exler, General Counsel
Michael Exler has served as General Counsel of the University since January 2008. With a career spent in both private practice and in the non-profit sector, Michael has a wide range of experience in the business and legal affairs of universities and academic health centers. As Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Board Secretary of Drexel University and General Counsel of the Drexel University College of Medicine, Michael is responsible for overseeing the legal affairs of the University. He also oversees the Office of Risk Management, which manages the University’s property and casualty insurance program as well as its medical malpractice insurance program. Michael advises the President, the Board of Trustees, faculty and professional staff on a variety of matters in support of the University’s mission, goals and objectives.
Prior to becoming Drexel's General Counsel, Michael previously held the position of Vice President and Chief Counsel of the Drexel University College of Medicine. Before joining Drexel in 2000, Michael served as Senior Counsel for the Johns Hopkins Health System, where he also served as Board Secretary for four Hopkins-related entities. Prior to that, he served as Associate General Counsel for the Allegheny Health, Education and Research Foundation based in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. His career in higher education followed seven years in the private practice of law with the Pittsburgh law firm of Kabala & Geeseman (now part of Fox Rothschild). Michael received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College (1983) and his Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law (1987), where he served on the editorial board of the Duquesne Law Review. Michael is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the American Health Lawyers Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Association of Academic Health Centers – Executive Leadership Group for Legal Counsel (through 2007).
Margaret Denton, Associate General Counsel
Margaret Denton joined the Office of the General Counsel in October 2011. Margaret represents the University in a wide range of matters including student affairs, employment law matters, litigation, and various business transactions, including real estate, vendor services, use of facilities and clinical affiliations. She advises the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the School of Public Health on a variety of issues concerning faculty-student matters, policies and procedures and affiliation agreements. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, Margaret spent more than 15 years serving as in-house counsel in a range of industries including banking, insurance and franchising. Her functional expertise ranges from all facets of contracts and commercial law as well as business support and regulatory compliance. Recently, she served as the first General Counsel for Rita’s Water Ice Franchise Company. Prior to working as an attorney, Margaret worked as a finance professional handling real estate debt restructures with major financial institutions.
Margaret received her BA from Lincoln University, an MBA from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management and her JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Margaret is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, American Corporate Counsel Association, Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association Contracts and Commercial Law Committee and serves a Mentor with the Temple University Law School Women’s Law Caucus.
John Gyllenhammer, Associate Vice President and Chief Counsel
John Gyllenhammer joined the Office of the General Counsel in 1997. John is the chief attorney responsible for all legal matters affecting the College of Medicine in the areas of human resources, medical malpractice and human subject research; and serves as the Office’s managing attorney for all administrative, financial and personnel matters. As Board Secretary, he counsels the Board of Trustees on governance, legal compliance and other matters that arise from time to time. He provides legal counsel and support to senior management, department chairs, faculty and staff in a wide variety of areas including contracts and business transactions, healthcare law, litigation prevention and management, faculty and student affairs, sponsored research, patient safety, regulatory compliance, real estate and employment law matters. John has worked in higher education law since 1992. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, John spent five years in the Legal Affairs Office at George Mason University in Virginia, from which he received his Juris Doctor. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Diana Hare, Associate General Counsel
Diana S. Hare joined the Office of the General Counsel in April 2003.
Diana represents the University in various transactions and issues relating to education, information technology, research, patient care and medical services, and real estate. She is a member of the Privacy Committee of the College of Medicine, and she advises on compliance with Privacy and Data Security Laws and Regulations, including HIPAA and Pennsylvania state law. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Diana spent 15 years as in-house counsel at three major Philadelphia corporations (Cigna, SmithKline Beecham, and Fleer).
A member of the Board of Directors of the Delaware Valley Corporate Counsel Association, she earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree from the Rutgers-Camden School of Law.
Priya Sankar, Associate General Counsel
Priya Sankar joined the Office of the General Counsel in June 2006. Priya represents the University in transactions relating to research and compliance. She advises the Clinical Research Group, Office of Research Compliance and other University departments on various issues including HIPAA, intellectual property, conflict of interest, compliance, and other research-related issues. In addition, she manages the negotiations of agreements for clinical research conducted at the College of Medicine.
She also works with the Clinical Research Group and University researchers in developing research affiliations and collaborations. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, she spent five years in-house at Schering-Plough Corporation and Exelon Corporation. She received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University and her law degree from the Temple University School of Law.
She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). She is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Deborah Lorber, Assistant Vice President, Risk Management
Deborah Lorber joined the Office of the General Counsel in September 2000. Deborah manages all University insurance programs, including the property, casualty, educators and medical malpractice insurance programs. She also manages claims for approximately 230 physicians and the University’s allied health professionals. As Chief Operating Officer of Schuylkill Crossing Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, the insurance company that provides professional liability insurance for Drexel and Drexel Med of the RRG, she handles the day to day operations of an insurance company with assets of more than $20 million. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Deborah has 20 years of experience working with medical malpractice insurance program, defense counsel, plaintiff’s counsel, judges, MCARE, excess insurance carriers and reinsurers, as well as government regulators and insurance brokers. This experience includes being responsible for the professional liability insurance programs for the physicians and residents at Albert Einstein Health Network in Philadelphia as its Insurance and Litigation Coordinator. She is a frequent speaker on the mediation of healthcare disputes, having been instrumental in the creation of Drexel Med’s award-winning Medical Malpractice Mediation Program.
Brian Cunningham, Associate Director of Risk Management
Brian Cunningham joined the Office of General Counsel as Associate Director of Risk Management in February, 2011. Brian is responsible for the administration of the Colleges’ risk management program, managing and analyzing data and conducting risk management educational programs. He serves as the interface between in-house and outside legal counsel and coordinates insurance coverage placements with risk financing goals. He plays an active role in the Schuylkill Crossing Risk Retention Group and is an active member of several industry associations.
Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Brian spent seven years in the Office of Risk Services at Temple University Health System administrating the medical malpractice insurance program. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics in 2002 from Tufts University and his Juris Doctor from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2009.
Gail Schlemback, Assistant Risk Manager
Gail Schlemback has been with the Office of Risk Management since June 2003. She is primarily responsible for administering the College’s Workers Compensation Program, and assisting the Director in the management and oversight of all medical malpractice claims and the College’s medical malpractice mediation program. She is involved with collecting and maintaining data from the clinical departments relating to incidents, claims and lawsuits of any and all kinds, as well as obtaining information required by the malpractice insurers relating to qualifications and claim histories of all current and potential employees of the College. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, she served as a legal assistant in a private law firm that specialized in plaintiff’s personal injury and medical malpractice litigation.
Pat Buck, Legal Department Administrator
Pat Buck joined the Office of the General Counsel in March 2001. She is the principal staff liaison with the Board of Trustees, and is responsible for coordinating all Board and Executive Committee meetings and mailings and facilitating their participation in the governance of the corporation. She is also the Administrator for the Contract Protocol Review Process for the College of Medicine, which requires that all contracts involving amounts higher than $25,000 be approved by several departments as well as by an OGC attorney. She manages all administrative, financial, and personnel matters for the Office of the General Counsel. She has 25 years administrative experience in the healthcare industry, including many years as the executive assistant to the Chief Financial Officer of MCP Hahnemann University. She received her Associates Degree in Science and Business Administration from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (Philadelphia University) and is a member of the Association of Legal Administrators.
Tina Dwyer, Legal Executive Secretary
Tina Dwyer joined the Office of the General Counsel in May 2000. She provides administrative and secretarial support to the Vice President and General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel and Associate General Counsel, as well as serving as the receptionist for the office. She is also the office’s main resource to remember everything that has happened, and where the relevant people and files can be found. Prior to joining the Office of the General Counsel, Tina provided administrative support to the Dean of the School of Health Professions of MCP Hahnemann University, which in 2002 became part of Drexel University. She received her Associates Degree in Science from MCP Hahnemann University.
Megan Newsome, Legal Executive Secretary
Megan Newsome joined the Office of the General Counsel in September 2007 as a Legal Executive Secretary. Megan provides administrative and secretarial support to both the Office of the General Counsel and Risk Management Department, and to Schuylkill Crossing Reciprocal Risk Retention Group, Drexel Med’s professional liability insurer. She previously worked in the College of Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine as the Coordinator for the Fellowship Program. Megan received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Rosemont College.