FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Leslie M. Turner

The Hershey Company
Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary
Hershey, PA, USA

Leslie Turner is a senior legal leader with 25+ years of experience-providing strategic counsel, risk management and policy advice to:  senior level business executives of Fortune 100/500 companies; and senior level government leaders in the U.S. and Pacific Rim territories on matters before the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies. Adept at aligning legal strategy with business goals and building collaborative business-focused legal teams.


Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, The Hershey Company: July 2012-present

  • Report to the President and CEO of The Hershey Company and serve as a member of the Company's Global Leadership Team.
  • Lead and steward Hershey's legal, government relations, corporate security and corporate secretary functions.

Chief Legal Officer, Coca-Cola North America (CCNA):  Oct. 2008-June 2012

  • Championed CCNA's consistent focus on the protection of the Company's brands, reputation, resources and its people by promoting the use of good governance in all Company-related decision-making.
  • Drove and supported CCNA's strategic direction and business growth initiatives through the provision of strategic advice, risk management and counsel to the CCNA President/executive business leadership and cross-functional teams.
  • Drove and encouraged targeted growth within the CCNA Legal Function to increase capability and build a diverse talent pipeline for succession.

Associate General Counsel, Bottling Investments Group (BIG), The Coca-Cola Company: Jan. 2006-Oct. 2008

  • Provided strategic advice and counsel to the BIG President and leadership team on a variety of legal, business and policy matters involving the Company owned and/or managed bottlers. 
  • As first Associate General Counsel for BIG, led and supported the development of a globally-based, cohesive BIG legal team, focused on driving business results through good governance and the identification/prevention and/or mitigation of high risk situations.
  • Expanded the availability of services and resources available to the BIG business by leveraging and encouraging collaborative work processes and information exchanges between bottler lawyers, the corporate legal team and other Company functions.  

Associate, Of Counsel and Partner:  Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
(Washington, D.C. Office)    Oct. 1986--Dec. 1992; Jan. 1996--Jan. 2006

  • Provided legal advice and counsel to a Fortune 100/500 client base in a variety of practice areas, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Export Control Act, RICO, commercial and contract law, the privatization of urban transportation systems, employment law, antitrust and lender liability. 
  • Provided strategic planning and advocacy in matters before the U.S. Congress and executive branch agencies. Significant experience in internal investigations, white collar defense work, motions practice and trial work. 
  • Supervised work assignments and developed the capability of associates and legal support staff.   Expanded and encouraged participation in pro bono and community service through tenure as supervising partner of the Firm's Washington, D.C. Office Pro Bono Program.

Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior and Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (Appointed by Secretary Bruce Babbitt)
U.S. Dept. of the Interior  Oct. 1995- Jan. 1996   

  • Provided strategic advice on policy, political and legal initiatives concerning urban environmental land use, National Park Service policies and environmental issues in the U.S. Territories.  Served as the Executive Branch's Designated Representative for Hawaiian Home Land and indigenous rights issues. 
  • Led and developed the formulation of policy options for Departmental officials on intergovernmental initiatives crossing agency lines. Fostered a cooperative relationship between the Interior Dept., federal, state and local governments, NGOs and other organizations.

Assistant Secretary, Office of Territorial and International Affairs (Appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate)
U.S. Dept. of the Interior  Jan 1993 - Oct. 1995

  • Led the Office of Territorial and International Affairs (OTIA). Developed and managed federal policies, programs, indigenous rights issues and U.S. relations with such territories and federated states as American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Micronesia and Palau. 
  • Represented the Administration in hearings and all other insular-related matters before the U.S. Congress and local insular government and business gatherings.
  • Successfully reduced costs and improved service delivery to the insular areas by reorganizing the Department's operational structure and management of territorial and international affairs. Managed performance and budget execution for ~ $350 million in insular federal funding


  • Master of Laws in Law and Government, American University, Washington College of Laws (2003)
  • Juris Doctorate, Georgetown University Law Center (1985)
  • Bachelor of Science, New York University (1980)


  • District of Columbia
  • New York


  • Board of Visitors, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Trustee, Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Speaker/presenter (e.g., Using and Defending Against Expert Witnesses (D.C. Bar Assoc.); Georgia State University, College of Law  Commencement and Hooding Ceremony; National Association of Women Lawyers, Sixth General Counsel Institute).


  • Wiley A. Branton Award  (2008) 
  • Heman Marion Sweatt Award (2009)

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