Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001

Kenneth Feinberg
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Kenneth Feinberg At A Glance:

Mr. Feinberg was designated by the Obama Administration and British Petroleum (BP) to serve as Administrator, Gulf Coast Claims Facility from 2010 to March, 2012. He was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2010 to serve as the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation.

Mr. Feinberg was designated by the Obama Administration and British Petroleum (BP) to serve as Administrator, Gulf Coast Claims Facility from 2010 to March, 2012. He was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury from 2009 to 2010 to serve as the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation. In this capacity, he was responsible for determining annual compensation packages for senior corporate officials at companies that received the most taxpayer financial assistance.

He was also appointed by the Attorney General of the United States to serve as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001. In this capacity, he developed and promulgated the Regulations governing the administration of the Fund and administered all aspects of the program, including evaluating applications, determining appropriate compensation and disseminating awards.

Mr. Feinberg was the Fund Administrator responsible for the design, implementation and administration of the claims process for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University in 2007.

Mr. Feinberg is an attorney and one of the nation’s leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. He is the managing partner of Feinberg Rozen, LLP. Mr. Feinberg received his B.A. cum laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1967 and his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1970, where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review. He was a Law Clerk for Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, New York State Court of Appeals from 1970 to 1972; Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of New York from 1972 to 1975; Special Counsel, United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1975 to 1980; Administrative Assistant to Senator Edward M. Kennedy from 1977 to 1979; Partner at Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler from 1980 to 1993; and founded The Feinberg Group, LLP in 1993.

Mr. Feinberg has also been a Court-Appointed Special Settlement Master, mediator and arbitrator in thousands of disputes. He was also one of three arbitrators selected to determine the fair market value of the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination and was one of two arbitrators selected to determine the allocation of legal fees in the Holocaust slave labor litigation.

Mr. Feinberg was a member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Human Radiation Experiments from 1994 to 1998; the Presidential Commission on Catastrophic Nuclear Accidents from 1989 to 1990 and the Carnegie Commission Task Force on Science and Technology in Judicial and Regulatory Decision Making from 1989 to 1993. He is currently a member of the National Judicial Panel, Center for Public Resources, and previously chaired the American Bar Association Special Committee on Mass Torts from 1988 to 1989. He is also a national arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Feinberg serves on the Board of the RAND Institute of Civil Justice, is Vice- Chairman of the Board of Human Rights First and is a member of the Board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

Mr. Feinberg has had a distinguished teaching career as Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, University of Pennsylvania Law School, New York University School of Law, the University of Virginia Law School and Columbia Law School. He has also taught as a visiting lecturer at UCLA Law School, Vanderbilt Law School, New York Law School and Duke Law School.

Mr. Feinberg was designated “Lawyer of the Year”by the National Law Journal. He is listed in “Profiles in Power: The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America”(National Law Journal, May 2, 1988; March 25, 1991; April 4, 1994; June 12, 2000; June 19, 2006). He is the author of numerous articles and essays on mediation, mass torts and other matters and is the author of, What is Life Worth? The Unprecedented Effort to Compensate the Victims of 9/11.

Mr. Feinberg is now the Administrator of the GM Ignition Compensation Claims Resolution Facility.

If you’d like to bring in Kenneth Feinberg as your next keynote speaker, please fill out the “Request More Information” form on the right.

  • Who Gets What: Fair Compensation after Tragedy and Financial Upheaval

    Agent Orange, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, the Virginia Tech massacre, the 2008 financial crisis, and the Deep Horizon gulf oil spill: each was a disaster in its own right. What they had in common was their aftermath—each required compensation for lives lost, bodies maimed, livelihoods wrecked, economies and ecosystems upended. In each instance, an objective third party had to step up and dole out allocated funds: in each instance, Presidents, Attorneys General, and other public officials have asked Kenneth R. Feinberg to get the job done.

    Feinberg reveals the deep thought that must go into each decision, not to mention the most important question that arises after a tragedy: why compensate at all? The result is a remarkably accessible discussion of the practical and philosophical problems of using money as a way to address wrongs and reflect individual worth.
  • What Is Life Worth?: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Fund and Its Effort to Compensate the Victims of September 11th

    Just days after September 11, 2001, Kenneth Feinberg was appointed to administer the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, a unique, unprecedented fund established by Congress to compensate families who lost a loved one on 9/11 and survivors who were physically injured in the attacks. Those who participated in the Fund were required to waive their right to sue the airlines involved in the attacks, as well as other potentially responsible entities. When the program was launched, many families criticized it as a brazen, tight-fisted attempt to protect the airlines from lawsuits. The Fund was also attacked as attempting to put insulting dollar values on the lives of lost loved ones. The families were in pain. And they were angry.

    Over the course of the next three years, Feinberg spent almost all of his time meeting with the families, convincing them of the generosity and compassion of the program, and calculating appropriate awards for each and every claim. The Fund proved to be a dramatic success with over 97% of eligible families participating. It also provided important lessons for Feinberg, who became the filter, the arbitrator, and the target of family suffering. Feinberg learned about the enduring power of family grief, love, fear, faith, frustration, and courage. Most importantly, he learned that no check, no matter how large, could make the families and victims of 9/11 whole again.
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