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NLADA - 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 900 -  Washington, DC 2003 - ph. 202-452-0620


For Immediate Release
Deborah Dubois
(202) 452-0620, ext. 223
Honored for his Dedicated Service to Pro Bono

WASHINGTON, DC, March 21, 2008 — In recognition of his longtime service on behalf of low-income communities, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) will present its 2008 Exemplar Award to Kenneth C. Frazier, executive vice president and president of Global Human Health at Merck & Co., Inc. In appreciation of his record as a proponent of pro bono assistance, commitment to diversity and contributions to the legal aid community, NLADA is pleased to present Frazier with this year’s Exemplar Award.

NLADA has presented the Exemplar Award annually since 1991, to pay tribute to those lawyers who labor tirelessly to improve the quality of representation for people who are unable to pay for legal assistance, and to salute outstanding individuals who set an example by their extraordinary dedication, achievement, leadership and vision in this regard. Frazier will be honored during the annual NLADA Exemplar Awards Dinner on Wednesday, June 11 at the Fairmont Washington, DC Hotel in Washington, DC. The reception will start at 6:00 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7:00 p.m.

“Ken Frazier has long been a respected advocate for quality representation for all people, regardless of ability to pay. His leadership and dedication to the legal aid and indigent defense community sets the standard for corporate America,” said Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA president and CEO. “Ken’s pro bono representation of death row inmate Bo Cochran, who spent 15 years on death row before being acquitted in 1996, is but one example of his tireless efforts to secure fair and equal access to our justice system. Ken served selflessly as chair of NLADA’s Corporate Advisory Committee from 2006 - 2008 and continues to be a consistent supporter of NLADA’s efforts to establish well-funded civil legal aid and public defender delivery systems that provide high quality representation to clients and communities in every state and territory of our country. For these efforts and many more, NLADA is honored to present Ken with this award.”

Frazier joined Merck & Co., Inc. in 1992 as vice president, general counsel and secretary of the Astra Merck Group. Prior to Merck, he was a partner with the Philadelphia firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. He was elected vice president of public affairs in 1994 and, in 1997, assumed the additional responsibilities of assistant general counsel, corporate staff. Frazier was promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel in January 1999. In December 1999, he assumed the position of senior vice president and general counsel overseeing Merck's legal and public affairs functions and The Merck Company Foundation. In November 2006, he was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel. He was appointed executive vice president and president of Merck’s Global Human Health in August 2007.

Ken Frazier is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association and the Council on Foreign Relations. He sits on the Boards of Ithaka Harbors, Inc. (a non-profit information technology organization), Cornerstone Christian Academy and the Ethics Resource Center.

In October 2004, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) presented Frazier with its 2004 Excellence in Corporate Practice Award, which recognizes achievements in legal advocacy and counseling, service to the legal profession, public service and civic and community contributions. In February 2003, the Pro Bono Institute, housed at Georgetown University Law Center, awarded Frazier its Laurie D. Zelon Award for extraordinary achievement by an individual in pro bono and public service.

In May 2003, Frazier was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award by Pennsylvania State University, the highest honor the University bestows on graduates whose professional achievements, personal qualities and community involvement exemplifies the goals of Penn State. And, in 2001, Frazier received the Alumni Fellow Award, the most prestigious award given by the Alumni Association to those recognized as leaders in their professional fields who are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise with the University community.

NLADA joins the equal justice community in saluting Kenneth Frazier for his commitment to equal justice.

For more information on the 2008 Exemplar Award Dinner, please contact Deborah Dubois, NLADA development director at 202-452-0620 ext. 223 or at

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The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), founded in 1911, is the oldest and largest national, nonprofit membership organization devoting all of its resources to advocating equal access to justice for all people. NLADA champions effective legal assistance for people who cannot afford counsel, serves as a collective voice for both civil legal services and public defense services throughout the nation and provides a wide range of services and benefits to its individual and organizational members.