About Rich Baer
I served as General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer of Qwest Communications from 2002 until 2011. With the close of the merger between Qwest and CenturyLink, I chose to leave the company. I am currently considering a number of exciting opportunities and hope to make a decision as to my next step shortly.
I refer to myself as an “accidental general counsel”, because I literally fell into the position at Qwest; it was not one I sought nor, initially, one for which I was particularly qualified. However, it was challenging, and, at times, enjoyable ride. In addition to leading Qwest’s law department, I oversee human resources, corporate communications, risk management and compliance efforts, public policy, federal relations and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining Qwest in 2001, I served as chairman of the litigation department at the Denver law firm of Sherman & Howard.
I am proud of what we accomplished at Qwest. The Qwest Law Department was named the Law Department of the Year in 2008 by Corporate Counsel magazine, an Employer of Choice in 2009 by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and one of the Ten Most Innovative Law Departments in 2010 by Inside Counsel magazine. I have been privileged to be recognized as a Lawyer of the Decade by Law Week Colorado, Diversity Trailblazer by a joint committee of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, as a Top General Counsel/In House Counsel by Ethisphere magazine, as a Colorado Super Lawyer, and as the Legal Newsmaker of the Year by the Denver Business Journal. In 2008, I was appointed as co-chair of the Information Technology transition team for then-Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and, in 2008, Governor Ritter appointed me chairman of the Colorado Workforce Development Counsel. In addition, I serve on the boards of the National Jewish Medical Center, the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation, the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, and the Duke Law School Board of Visitors.
I hold a bachelor of arts degree from Columbia University in 1979 and a juris doctorate degree from Duke University in 1983. I have a wonderful wife and two beautiful daughters.