Karen L. Hale

Chief Legal Officer since May, 2021

Member of the Executive Committee

In her role as Chief Legal Officer, Karen Hale leads the Novartis legal and global security functions, which support the company’s purpose of reimagining medicine while ensuring high standards of ethics and business conduct to reinforce trust with society.

It is an exciting time to support Novartis in addressing some of society’s most challenging healthcare conditions. For me, value comes with strong governance, transparency, and reliability to pioneer new approaches, and to enable collaborative solutions and broad access to healthcare where needed.

Karen joined Novartis in May 2021, bringing more than 20 years of experience in resolving legal and compliance issues in the global pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Novartis, she held a succession of senior roles at AbbVie including vice president, deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer. She originally joined Abbott, the company that spun-off AbbVie, in 1997 with responsibility for managing commercial litigation and providing counsel on corporate issues.

Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Karen was an associate attorney with the law firm Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois. She gained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and a juris doctor degree from the College of William and Mary. In 2019, Karen was named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of 50 most powerful women in corporate America.

Nationality: American | Year of birth: 1968

Professional experience

  • Vice president, deputy general counsel, AbbVie Inc., US (2019–2021)
  • Vice president, chief ethics and compliance officer, AbbVie Inc., US (2013–2019)
  • Vice president, litigation and legal specialty operations, AbbVie Inc., US (2013)
  • Divisional vice president, commercial litigation, Abbott Laboratories, US (2006–2012)
  • Began practicing law in 1994 and joined Abbott in 1997


  • Bar memberships: Illinois and Virginia, US
  • Juris doctor, William & Mary Law School, US
  • Bachelor’s degree in economics, Duke University, US

Information is accurate as of January 31, 2024