SLS Announces New Faculty Co-Leaders of Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Increased focus on venture capital and entrepreneurial finance are among the priorities of new faculty directors

STANFORD, CA, July 13, 2023—Stanford Law School (SLS) announced today that Robert Bartlett, the W. A. Franke Professor of Law and Business, and Colleen Honigsberg, professor of law and Bernard Bergreen Faculty Scholar, have been named faculty co-directors of the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, a joint initiative of SLS and the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Founded in 2006 with a gift from venture capitalist Arthur Rock and tax attorney Toni Rembe, the Rock Center keeps pace with rapidly developing areas of the law impacting executives, boards, and investors. The center engages in research, hosts executive education programs, supports faculty scholarship, and collaborates with students on programs to further their career and academic interests. Among the center’s flagship programs is the Stanford Directors’ College, now in its 28th year. 

Robert Bartlett, W. A. Franke Professor of Law and Business

“The unique synergies that Bobby and Colleen bring to their shared leadership role will expand on the Rock Center’s long-established reputation as one of the country’s leading centers for the advancement of corporate law and governance,” said Jenny Martinez, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. “We are fortunate to have these two energetic scholars at the helm, contributing to cutting-edge research and advancements in the realm of corporate governance.”

Bartlett is one of SLS’s newest faculty members, joining recently from the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he has taught since 2009, co-directed the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and served as the founding co-director of Startup@BerkeleyLaw, a platform for training students, entrepreneurs, and investors on issues confronting early-stage companies. He was a visiting professor at SLS in 2022, during which time he taught securities regulation. Bartlett’s research sits at the intersection of law and finance, with a particular emphasis on venture capital finance, market structure, corporate governance, mandatory disclosure, and capital market regulation. He earned both his B.A. and J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard.

Colleen Honigsberg, Professor of Law and Bernard Bergreen Faculty Scholar

Honigsberg, who joined the SLS faculty in 2016, focuses on the empirical study of corporate and securities law. Her recent papers have examined gaps in the regulatory environment for financial advisors, carbon accounting, human capital accounting, and the incentive structure for auditors. She serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee, holds a Ph.D. from Columbia Business School and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, and previously worked as a Certified Public Accountant.

Joseph Grundfest, the W. A. Franke Professor of Law and Business, emeritus, and a former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was a founding director of the Rock Center and continues to serve as a senior Rock Center faculty member and co-director of the Directors’ College. Amanda Packel and Kristen Savelle are co-executive directors of the Rock Center.

Bartlett and Honigsberg jointly emphasized their commitment to preserving and building on the value created by Grundfest and the Rock Center’s leadership since the center’s formation, while pursuing additional programs to enhance the center’s impact in today’s dynamic business and legal landscapes.

Additionally, Bartlett said he wants to further the Rock Center’s reach into venture capital and entrepreneurial finance. “I started my legal career as a securities lawyer representing founders and venture capitalists, where I was exposed to the critical role of lawyers in facilitating this country’s incredible startup ecosystem,” he said. “I continue to be focused on how we can ensure that the extraordinary wealth that startups can create is not confined to any single geography or population. Our goals include building out the law school’s startup executive education offerings, training the next generation of lawyers, supporting research in the area of VC/entrepreneurial finance, and creating  resources for company founders.”

Honigsberg added that she wants to build on the Rock’ Center’s ability to leverage a “who’s-who of corporate governance and finance” to further scholarly research and thought leadership. “But it’s more than just providing first-rate academic research,” she said. “It’s also about the power of convening academics, regulators, and industry leaders. That three-way interface is vital for understanding—in real time—how the institutional players in our economy interact, how they are affected by law and regulation, and ultimately, how they impact social welfare.” 

“I have wanted to be colleagues with Colleen for a long time,”  Bartlett said. “Her research is the real deal—it’s superbly innovative, rigorous and relevant—and she brings a thoughtfulness to the study of law, finance, and accounting that I find truly inspiring.”

“Bobby will have an immediate impact on the Rock Center and SLS more generally,” said Honigsberg. “His research and teaching are second-to-none, and he is one of the kindest people in legal academia. I am so grateful to have him as a colleague.”

About the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

The Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance is a joint initiative of Stanford Law School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. The Center was created to advance the understanding and practice of corporate governance in a cross-disciplinary environment where leading academics, business leaders, policy makers, practitioners and regulators can meet and work together. The Center is led by outstanding Faculty with active collaboration from its Advisory Board.

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective, and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.