Meyer G. Koplow ’72, one of the key players in the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement, has been elected to serve as the University’s next chair of the Board of Trustees, according to a Sept. 12 email from University President Ronald Liebowitz. 

Koplow, who succeeds former chair Larry Kanarek ’76, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2005. His sons Michael and Jonathan graduated from the University in 2002 and 2005, respectively.

“Brandeis provided me with the educational foundation that enabled me to embark on my legal career, and it has been a privilege to support its academic mission for more than a decade now as a member of the board,” the press release quoted Koplow as saying after the vote. “As a proud parent of two alumni as well, I look forward to continuing to promote that mission as board chair.”

In his email to the community, Liebowitz cited Koplow’s ties to the University as one of his greatest strengths. 

“As a longtime trustee, an alumnus himself and the father of two other alumni, Meyer is intimately familiar with our university’s strengths, challenges, and opportunities. I look forward to working closely with him in the months and years ahead,” Liebowitz wrote in the announcement.

Koplow was executive partner at New York’s Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he remains of counsel, per a press release included in the Sept. 12 email. 

During his 41 years with the firm, he was responsible for a number of large settlements, including the 1998 deal between five major tobacco companies and the attorneys general of 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. 

Representing tobacco company Philip Morris, Koplow helped broker a deal that forbids participating cigarette companies from marketing to children and enforces bans or restrictions on methods of advertisement, sponsorship and product placement, according to the Public Health Law Center. 

The tobacco industry was also required to pay settling states a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the deal in exchange for exemption from legal liability for the harm caused by tobacco use, according to an Oct. 6, 2014 New York Times piece. 

During his time on the Board of Trustees, Koplow chaired the Budget and Finance and the Nominating and Governance committees. He is also co-chair of Brandeis Hillel. 

—Abby Patkin