Jay Chaudhuri has spent his career fighting for, and working on behalf of, the people of North Carolina. Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Mr. Chaudhuri served as General Counsel & Senior Policy Advisor at the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, the sole trustee of the state’s $90 billion pension fund and administrator of the $8 billion defined contribution plan.
Mr. Chaudhuri oversaw all legal and corporate governance matters. In his role, he recovered more than $100 million for the pension and unclaimed property funds, including settlements with a real estate investment manager and custodian bank. He played a key role in uncovering alleged wrongdoing that led to eight investment managers paying the pension fund back $15 million and tougher, cutting-edge ethical standards for these managers.
Mr. Chaudhuri also helped organize a coalition of 11 public pension funds against Massey Energy’s Board of Directors and Chairman, after a coal-mining explosion resulted in the death of 29 workers. That engagement resulted in key corporate governance changes and the Chairman’s resignation. Today, the coalition’s engagement is cited as a model of collaboration among shareholder rights advocates. In addition, Mr. Chaudhuri worked closely with the Harvard Shareholder Rights Project where the Department helped declassify twenty corporate boards, including Stanley Black & Decker, Hess, Lexmark, Foot Locker, and Jarden Corporation. Mr. Chaudhuri served as Chair of the Council of Institutional Investors, an association of the pension funds with combined assets of more than $3 trillion which serves as the leading voice for effective corporate governance and strong shareholder rights. As Chair, he led the development and adoption of the organization’s long-term strategic plan.
Before joining the Department of State Treasurer, Mr. Chaudhuri served as Special Counsel at the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he lead an investigation by all 50 Attorneys General that resulted in a landmark agreement with two leading social networking sites to better protect children from Internet predators. For his efforts, the National Association of Attorneys General honored him with the Marvin Award, given to an individual who furthers that association’s goals.
The North Carolina Bar Association has awarded Mr. Chaudhuri its Citizen Lawyers Award, given to lawyers who provide exemplary service to the communities. Lawyers Weekly has also honored him with its Leader in the Law award. In addition, he has been awarded the William C. Friday Fellowship, Henry Toll Fellowship, and American Marshall Memorial Fellowship.
Mr. Chaudhuri currently serves in the North Carolina State Senate representing parts of Raleigh, Cary, and Morrisville. As one of the newest state senators, he serves on the Commerce, Pension & Retirements and Aging, Judiciary II, State and Local Government, and Appropriations on General Government committees. Mr. Chaudhuri has co-sponsored a bill to repeal House Bill 2, a bill critics have referred to as the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country. He is the first South Asian American to serve in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Mr. Chaudhuri graduated from Davidson College, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and North Carolina Central University School of Law (cum laude), where he was executive editor of the Law Journal.
- Board of Advisors, Elon University School of Law, 2016 – present
- Dorothea Dix Park Conservancy Board, 2016 – present
- Unclaimed Property Consumer Protection Alliance Advisory Board, 2016 – present
- General Counsel & Senior Policy Advisor, North Carolina Department of State Treasurer, 2009 – 2015
- Adjunct Law Professor, North Carolina Central University School of Law, 2007 – 2008
- Special Counsel, North Carolina Department of Justice, 2001 – 2008
- Legislative Counsel, North Carolina State Senate Majority Leader Roy Cooper, 2000