Coming Full Circle
Jonathan S. Kahan, BA ’70, JD ’73, has come a long way since his GW days. The prominent Washington food, drug, and medical device lawyer, who says he survived on “macaroni and cheese and Kool-Aid” while attending GW Law on a trustees’ honor scholarship, expressed his enduring gratitude to his two-time alma mater by establishing the Kahan Family Faculty Research Professorship at the Law School.
“GW assisted me financially as a student, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today without that support,” says Kahan, who also earned an undergraduate degree in history at the University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. “Now I’m at a point in my career where I can give something back to GW for what the school gave me, with the double benefit of being able to support an area of the law that has been the key to my career at Hogan & Hartson.”
The endowed research professorship will support a faculty member specializing in administrative law and government regulation—preferably someone with expertise in food, drug, and medical device law, which is Kahan’s area of interest. “It’s my hope that the professorship advances legal scholarship in this important area of the law at GW and helps to increase the emphasis on administrative, health, and FDA law here in Washington,” Kahan explains.
Kahan co-directs one of the largest FDA regulatory law groups in the country at Hogan & Hartson’s Washington office. “We have 50 or so lawyers and scientists helping medical device, pharmaceutical/biotechnology, and food companies get their products through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory maze,” he says, noting that his team represents some 600 medical device companies internationally, ranging from industry giants to small, start-up companies. In addition to counseling clients on FDA-related matters, he represents many in administrative hearings and trials, as well as in the federal courts.
A prolific writer and speaker on FDA regulatory law, Kahan has published some 50 articles, as well as two books, Medical Device Development: A Regulatory Overview (Parexel, 2000) and Medical Devices: Obtaining FDA Market Clearance (Paraxel, 1995). His leadership in the field includes serving in the recent past as chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Section on Health and Human Services, which includes the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law Committee. He also is a contributing editor and member of the editorial advisory board of the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MD&DI) magazine, a leading publication in the medical device area. MD&DI recognized Kahan as one of the 100 notable people in the device industry in 2004.
Kahan is also an active GW Law alumnus, serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board and as a leader among GW Law alumni at Hogan & Hartson, which boasts a substantial number of GW Law alumni. Earlier this year, he hosted a dean’s breakfast at the firm, as well as a reception for newly accepted GW Law students. He enjoys longstanding friendships with a number of Law School classmates, as well as with GW Law Professors Roger Trangsrud and Peter Raven-Hansen, who worked with him for years at Hogan & Hartson.
“Jonathan Kahan is actively engaged and interested in the Law School and is a respected member of our Board of Advisors,” says Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Steven L. Schooner. “We thank him not only for his support but for his leadership and the example he sets for our board members and alumni generally.”
Kahan has high hopes that the endowed research professorship will help keep the Law School on an upward trajectory. “GW is already one of the best law schools in the country, and Dean Lawrence has put it on a track to even higher achievement and prominence,” he says. “The more I can help GW Law advance its agenda, the better. I hope that the Kahan professorship is an important step in that direction.”
—Jamie L. Freedman
Stepping Up to Make a Difference
The premise is simple. James A. Gass, JD ’73, wants to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people.
The Boston-based vice president and general counsel of OSRAM Sylvania hopes to do just that through a new endowed scholarship he has funded at GW Law, giving preference to students from developing nations. “I’ve traveled extensively throughout the developing world for business over the years and met many hardworking, bright young people trapped without opportunities,” Gass says. “In Thailand, you meet people working on the streets for $4 or $5 a day. It makes you realize how unfair and unequal the world is. The scholarship is a way for me to combine my desire to help people from less advantaged backgrounds with my wish to give something back to GW.”
Gass’ travels in Asia have given him a unique opportunity to meet and interact with hundreds of young adults. Over the years, he has paid for English courses and technical schools for disadvantaged people he has met in emerging nations like Thailand, Vietnam, and China. “I’ve been so fortunate,” he says. “How can you not take some of your discretionary income and use it to try and equalize things by helping people to better themselves? It’s very personal to me.”
In recent years, Gass has also contributed to the life of the Law School as a student mentor and frequent panelist. “GW has done a lot for me,” says Gass, who joined Sylvania, a century-old manufacturing company with more than $2 billion in revenue, in 1978 and became general counsel in 1993. “I view the scholarship as an investment in the future of GW and its students. I’m just a guy paying back a good organization and hopefully fulfilling a worthy cause.”
John Kucharski, JD ’65
Engineering the Future of Public Interest Law
For a man who spent a remarkable career developing submarine, missile, and nuclear weapons technology, it is not unusual that John Kucharski, JD ’65, casts and paints miniature pewter Napoleonic War-era soldiers. The former chairman and CEO of publicly traded EG&G, a $4 billion global manufacturer of digital X-ray detector panels, automobile airbag accelerometers, and computerized medical diagnostic equipment prior to its 1999 merger with Perkinelmer Inc., ran his first company while at GW Law School in 1965.
Kucharski, 71, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University in 1958. After graduation, he worked for AC Electronics, a subsidiary of General Motors Corp., producing missile guidance systems and gun sites for the U.S. Air Force’s Regulus, Thor, and Titan weapons. Motivated to pursue law instead of engineering, Kucharski left Milwaukee with his family and set out for Washington, D.C.
While serving full time as the director of engineering for Howard Research Corp. in Bethesda, Md., focusing on system engineering protocols, fire control mechanisms, and sea-based missile launch operations, he started attending law school in the evening during the fall of 1961. Although he began with the intent of becoming a patent attorney, he quickly changed his mind. “I just wasn’t that interested in patent law after taking my first course,” he recalls. “But, I couldn’t go home and tell my wife I had made a mistake,” he adds. For that reason, he spent the next few years concentrating on a more corporate curriculum.
When Control Data Corp. acquired Howard Research in 1965, he and four co-workers founded Rockville, Md.-based Challenger Research Corp. a month before Kucharski’s graduation. A member of the 1964 list of Who’s Who in Oceanographic Vehicles, he served as Challenger’s chief executive from 1965 to 1972, growing revenues to $10 million. The company had a number of government contracts to develop submarine technology, which was popular in the Cold War era of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In fact, Kucharski’s team was involved with the acoustic technology featured in the submarine movie The Hunt for Red October.
In 1972, he guided the sale of Challenger to EG&G, known as the “Bomb Company” because EG&G representatives were present at every single atomic test since the creation of the Nevada test site in 1947. He became EG&G’s vice president and group executive for government services in 1979, and over three decades held various positions until being named president in 1986, CEO in 1987, and chairman in 1988. He held that rank until his retirement in 1999.
In addition to EG&G, he was a member of the board of directors for Nashua Corp., New England Electric System Co., State Street Boston Corp., Reynolds Electric & Engineering Co., Fleet Bank of Massachusetts, and the Fair Oaks Foundation. He also spent 12 years on the Board of Trustees of Marquette and GW. Today, he advises small high-tech start-up companies as a member of various boards of directors.
Although he never practiced law, Kucharski took and passed the Maryland bar exam simply by reviewing notes he purchased from a local bar review course and reading the federal reporters. “There is no question that the law degree helped me immensely over the years in various ways,” he says. “When you are starting your own company or running a Fortune 250 company, you have more insight about what to do and what not to do,” he adds.
After retiring from EG&G, Kucharski and his wife, a registered nurse, established charitable remainder trusts for GW, Marquette, and Montgomery College (Mrs. Kucharski’s alma mater). The two had been donating to GW since the mid-1980s but decided to add a charitable remainder trust in honor of departing University President Stephen Trachtenberg. “Everything I have done for GW has been in tribute to Stephen, who I think has done a great job and made a tremendous impact on the University,” he says. The $250,000 John M. and Marilyn K. Kucharski Public Interest Fellowship will be used for loan reimbursement for students who engage in full-time public interest work. It will provide loan forgiveness to graduates who earn less than $37,000. “My thought always was, which goes back to my parents, that the people who have a little more are expected to give a little more.”
The father of four daughters also leads by example in his hometown of Wayland, Mass., serving as an overseer, providing guidance to Boston’s WGBH, the prominent regional public broadcasting affiliate. He is also involved with F.I.S.H. (Friends In Service Helping), an organization of retired professionals who transport non-ambulatory adults to medical facilities. “If you take from the earth, you have to put it back,” he notes.
He gives back in appreciation for the opportunities that arose out of his decision to attend law school. “If I hadn’t gone to GW, I may have continued performing defense work at AC Electronics in Milwaukee,” he notes. “I don’t know what would have happened, but I wouldn’t have ended up starting Challenger Research.”
Kucharski, a stamp collector, modestly comments, “My life is probably not completely ordinary, but it is no big deal.” Of his experience, he highlights that “a legal education gets you to think differently and look at a problem in more ways than one; it is a pedigree.” The John. M. and Marilyn K. Kucharski Public Interest Fellow will have a pedigree as well.
—Ari Kaplan, JD ’97
Class of 2007 Establishes Endowment
Class of 2007 Gift Committee members sport their “Higher Ed with Fred” T-shirts during one of their last days as students at GW Law. From left to right, Genger Charles, George Fatula, Karen Greenwood, Marc Bohn, Dean Frederick M. Lawrence, Arianna Gleckel, Andrea Zuniga, Patricia Barr, Maria Guardia, Sarah Schwartz, and Laura Bourgeois.
The Class of 2007 showed its appreciation for time well spent at GW Law by setting a new class gift-giving record. Seventy-two percent of the Class of 2007 gave back to the Law School by donating more than $15,000 to the third annual Graduating Class Gift Fund. Class donations were matched four to one since they surpassed the Class of 2006’s participation rate of 67 percent.
Graduating seniors established the 2007 Class Endowment Fund. This generous gift will be the first endowed fund in the school’s 142-year history and will establish a permanent legacy to benefit students for generations to come. This year’s contributions benefited the Scholarship Fund and the Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program.
Over the next 10 years, the Law School expects this fund to exceed $250,000, thus ensuring that the Class of 2007 will make a significant difference in the education of all those who follow after them.
“A remarkable 72 percent of our graduating seniors made a gift to the Law School this year. Their participation rate sets a goal for every class—past, present, and future,” Dean Frederick M. Lawrence says.
Special thanks are due to Student Bar Association President Sam Jammal, JD ’07; Class Gift Chair Karen Greenwood, JD ’07; and the entire Class Gift Committee.
“A special thank you to all the student volunteers who helped to make the Class of 2007 gift drive a tremendous success,” says William P. Barr, JD ’77, GW Law Annual Fund national chairperson.
Additional recognition and thanks are extended to faculty donors, including Steven Charnovitz, Senior Associate Dean Steven Schooner, David Schreiber, and Amanda Tyler.
Inspired by Puppy Love
GW benefactor endows two animal law scholarships in honor of pets
Fleischman says his golden retriever, Samantha, was a wonderful companion and listener. At the Animal Law Summit in February, Fleischman stood by as Dean Frederick M. Lawrence unveiled a portrait of Samantha. It now hangs in Professor Joan Schaffner’s office.
In a dog-eat-dog world, real estate entrepreneur Julius Fleischman found comfort and companionship with his golden retriever, Samantha, and black Labrador, HoJo. Today, he’s honoring the memory of his best friends with a GW Animal Law endowment in their names.
Fleischman, a native Washingtonian and lifelong canine lover, has made two $50,000 donations to provide annual scholarships for GW Law students who have demonstrated passion and leadership in promoting the welfare of animals through law.
At a GW Animal Law Summit in February, Fleischman handed out the first Samantha Scholarship to outstanding third-year student Eden Gray. In a surprise move, Fleishman said he was so inspired by the positive energy at the event that he donated a second scholarship, this one in memory of HoJo, on the spot.
“Everyone there was so dedicated, and it stirred me to do more,” said Fleischman, whose announcement was welcomed with cheers from more than 75 D.C. animal welfare community members in attendance. “I think it’s about time people start paying attention to animal cruelty. Now that there’s a voice coming out, it will help considerably and, hopefully, snowball into something big.”
Although Fleischman says he feels a true “camaraderie” with GW, he studied at the University only one semester at night before pursuing a career in development and real estate. Fleischman led residential and commercial projects in suburban Maryland, including a 100-home community called Fleischman’s Village, and a Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge in Temple Hills.
It was there, while managing the motel, that a friend told him of a nearby gas station worker who wanted to give away a dog. The scrappy black lab became “the best desk clerk I ever had,” Fleischman jokes, and quickly was inaugurated the motel’s namesake pup, HoJo.
Fleischman’s most recent canine companion, Samantha, was also a serendipitous find. Fleischman was only supposed to watch the pooch for a few days while a friend was on vacation—but it turned out to be true chemistry, and Samantha ended up staying with Fleischman, permanently, for nearly a decade.
While Samantha and HoJo are no longer with Fleischman, the two pups will live on at GW, encouraging the Law School’s finest to promote a truly worthy cause—animal welfare.
“This is a very important component to the program that accomplishes a number of objectives,” says GW Professor Joan Schaffner, director of the Animal Law Program. The endowment “demonstrates the importance of this area of the law and GW’s commitment to it, it generates student interest in working in the area, and it celebrates and rewards outstanding students in this field.”
Since it began in fall 2003, GW’s Animal Law Program has grown by leaps and bounds. It touts an animal welfare pro bono project, an active student organization, two seminars, and the Animal Law Litigation Project, which is a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States.
Fleischman’s gift is the first donation to GW in memory of a pet. The 85-year-old thrill seeker, who recently sky-dived and snow skied for the first time, has also contributed six other gifts to the University since 2005. Schaffner says students were honored that Fleischman chose twice to reward Animal Law scholars with his generosity.
As the previous owner of seven dogs, and the current owner of a cat, Fleischman finds that the Samantha and HoJo scholarships are more meaningful than simple donations, he says. They are intended to encourage and inspire. He hopes other potential donors will think of their pets when they choose to create an endowment, he says.
Fleischman’s love for all animals, he adds, runs deep.
“They offer you nothing but love and don’t want a thing in return,” Fleischman says.
A Roast to Remember
Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, LLB ’62
Humor permeated Washington’s Madison Hotel on April 24, as some 220 friends and family members of Hon. Charles T. Manatt, LLB ’62, gathered for a benefit dinner to help fund an endowed professorship of international rule of law at GW.
Friends traveled to D.C. from as far away as the Dominican Republic and Los Angeles to roast Manatt and support the professorship, which is aimed at helping law students from developing countries learn the “rules of the road” for practicing international human rights and commercial rights law.
Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, chair-elect of GW’s board of trustees, saluted Manatt during the April 24 benefit dinner.
“GW has 200 LLM candidates, half of whom are from overseas—90 percent of them from developing countries,” Manatt says. “Ninety percent go home after the program, and we need to fully take advantage of inculcating in them the rule of law so that they can take this knowledge back to their home countries to better facilitate trade and commerce, as well as improve the standard of living in developing countries.”
Manatt calls GW Law “a magnet for international law students from developing countries” because of its proximity to institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “As U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, I witnessed how much legal systems vary from country to country,” he says, noting that public corruption is endemic in some nations.
“The field needs to be strengthened, and GW Law is uniquely positioned to become a top leader in advancing human rights and property rights worldwide under the rule of law,” he says. “Through the new professorship—the first of its kind at GW—we hope to produce some of the best-trained lawyers from developing countries that you can come across.”
Kathleen Manatt, Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, Michele Manatt, and Charles Manatt take time to chat during the gathering.
Highlights of the evening included an appearance by Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner, BA ’77, who saluted Manatt, and W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, chair-elect of GW’s Board of Trustees; an update on the professorship by Dean Frederick M. Lawrence; and roasts by GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, JD Williams, LLB ’62, Frank Fahrenkopf, former chair of the Republican National Committee, Peter G. Kelly, a classmate of Trachtenberg’s at Yale Law School, and Manatt’s family. The dinner was chaired by Joe Brand, JD ’63, and Michael Steed, managing director of the Paladin Capital Group.
“It felt wonderful to be roasted,” says Manatt, who hopes that he had “the last word” in every case. “It was lighthearted and good fun, and they spoofed me very well.”
“My daughter, Michele, presented an award to my wife, Kathy, for putting up with me for the past 50 years,” adds Manatt, whose younger son, Dan, roasted him. “”It was an all-around good time for our family.”
Kathy Lawrence (left) joined Manatt’s wife, Kathleen Manatt, and his daughter, Michele Manatt, in a light-hearted roast.
By evening’s end, some $400,000 was raised toward the professorship—a GW record for a benefit dinner. Manatt generously offered to match dinner contributions. Leadership donors include Arnold & Porter, LLC; Joseph Brand; Mark V. Hughes; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; Paladin Group; Ramsey Asset Management; Snowbird Capital, Inc.; The Staubach Companies; AT&T; Buccini-Pollin Group; Allan From; Cyrus Gardner; Hogan & Hartson; Ronald Katz and Elizabeth Roth; The John R. and Inge P. Stafford Foundation; Tom and Barbara Boggs; Brian Brunsvold; The Coca Cola Co.; Steven Davidson and Claudia Callaway; Dan and June DeHart; Frank and Mary Fahrenkopf; FedEx Corp.; Gary Granoff; Peter G. Kelly; William Oldaker; PNC
Bank; Bill and Susan Sweeney; Randal C. Teague; Wachovia, N.A.; Bruce Wolff and Linda Miller; and Wine Institute. “Chuck pulled out all the stops,” says Richard A. Collins, executive director of Law School Advancement. “He assembled a program of speakers who were insightful and entertaining, and attracted strong support from the national and international community. It was a
night to remember.”