Industry & Advocacy News
October 9, 2014
NEW YORK, NY, October 9, 2014 — Mary Rasenberger, a six-year Copyright Office and Library of Congress veteran and partner at the media law firm Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard, will succeed Paul Aiken as Authors Guild Executive Director on November 3rd. Rasenberger’s selection follows a national search by a committee of the Authors Guild Council, the Guild’s governing board. Her candidacy received the unanimous support of the Council. Aiken will work for the Guild as a consultant for the next two years.
“Mary brings with her exactly what the Guild needs today,” said President Roxana Robinson. “She’s a proven leader, a brilliant copyright lawyer and—especially important to us—a devotee of the written word.”
“I’m delighted to hand the reins to someone of Mary’s caliber,” said Paul Aiken. “I’ve known her for years. She’s energetic, very smart, and knows her way around Washington. She’s a perfect fit for the job. And I have a new cause,” said Aiken, who announced a year ago that he has ALS.
Rasenberger has built her career at the intersection of the arts, media, and the law. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Rasenberger joined White & Case in New York City, practicing in the firm’s intellectual property department. She served as BMG Music’s associate director for legal and business affairs, then worked at the Intellectual Property and Technology Department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Rasenberger was counsel to Morrison & Foerster’s Technology Transactions Group before moving to Washington in 2002, where she joined the Copyright Office as policy planning advisor and then serving as its Senior Advisor for Public Policy. In 2006, she became director of the Library of Congress’s National Digital Preservation Program. Rasenberger returned to New York and private practice in 2008, but kept her hand on Capitol Hill, drafting the charter for the Library of Congress’s National Digital Stewardship Alliance and overseeing the recently published, mammoth, 1,200-page revision of the Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices.
Mary Rasenberger is also a 1983 graduate of Barnard College and earned a Master’s Degree in philosophy at Boston College in 1986.
“This is a dream job,” Rasenberger said. “I’ve focused most of my career on authors’ rights, and I’ve long admired the Guild’s spirit and advocacy. I’m thrilled to contribute what I can to the Guild’s noble mission and help ensure that writing remains a viable profession.” She added, “I know from observing Paul’s work how keenly his energy and intelligence will be missed, by Guild members and by all authors.”
“Paul served this organization for decades with enthusiasm and vision,” said Robinson. “During his tenure, this nation’s writers had an advocate that both foresaw the challenges of the digital era and faced them head-on.”
The Authors Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest society of professional authors.
Paul Aiken blogs about his treatment for ALS symptoms at www.nequals2.com.