Harry J. Pearce was elected a director of the General Motors Corporation Board of Directors and became vice chairman of the corporation on Jan. 1, 1996.
Pearce had been an executive vice president since Nov. 2, 1992. He has responsibility for Corporate Relations and Diversity, Economics, the Enterprise Activities Group, Environment and Energy, Global Human Resources and the GM University, Government Relations, Information Systems & Services, Office of the Secretary, Corporate Strategy and Knowledge Development, Allison Transmission Division, Electro-Motive Division, and Hughes Electronics Corporation. He is also responsible for the overall relationship between General Motors and its key information-technology supplier, Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS), which was split off from GM in June 1996.
Pearce had been general counsel with responsibility for GM's Legal Staff from May 1987 to August 1994.
Pearce joined General Motors as associate general counsel in October 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, N.D. In that capacity, he represented GM and other industrial companies nationwide in a variety of product liability cases over a period of 15 years. Pearce was born on Aug. 20, 1942, in Bismarck, N.D. He 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, 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 to 1976 and also served as United States Commissioner and U.S. Magistrate.
Pearce is also a member of the board of directors of Hughes Electronics Corporation, General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), Marriott International Inc., Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Economic Strategy Institute, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, MDU Resources Group, Inc., National Defense University Foundation, the Detroit Investment Fund, and The Bone Marrow Foundation and is a member of Wayne State University's School of Medicine's Board of Visitors. He is also a member of the United States Air Force Academy's Board of Visitors, and Chairman of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Sabre Society.
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.
Pearce is a member of The National Academies' Panel on Science, Technology and Law, the American Law Institute, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Mentor Group's Forum for U.S.-EU (European Union) Legal-Economic Affairs, The Conference Board, Network of Employers for Traffic Safety's Leadership Council, and the World Economic Forum's Council of Innovative Leaders in Globalization. He also serves as a member of Northwestern University School of Law's Law Board, and as a trustee of Northwestern University, Howard University, United States Council for International Business, and New Detroit Inc.
Dr. Harry Pearce
Vice Chairman of General Motors