Published: Feb. 14, 2024

Michael Fricklas
Michael D. Fricklas, 2024 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award recipient

Engineering Alumni Awards

2024 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award recipient

Michael D. Fricklas (ElEngr'81) became chief legal officer and secretary of Advance in April 2018. From 1993 to 2017, he was one of the top executives at Viacom, for 19 years as executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, reporting to the CEO. Fricklas received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering and Applied Science in 1981 and a JD, magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1984. Fricklas’s practice started in Silicon Valley, representing technology companies in a variety of financing transactions and in technology licensing.

Since then, his career has focused on the intersection of copyright and technology, corporate governance, mergers & acquisitions, and large law department management. Fricklas is a member of the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Artificial Intelligence and the Law. He is a member of the board of trustees of Boston University; secretary and a member of the board of Jazz at Lincoln Center; a member of the board of directors of Equal Justice Works; and co-chair of the United Jewish Appeal entertainment and media group. He is past president of the Association of General Counsel.

Fricklas has shown a deep commitment to serving students and institutions of higher learning, believing deeply in the transformative impact that education can have on people’s lives. With his deep roots in technology and law, Fricklas has made impactful philanthropic contributions to CU Boulder, specifically to Colorado Law, the Flatirons Institute and the ATLAS Institute. Leveraging his expertise and experience, he has supported initiatives that blend legal education with technological innovation, fostering an environment where students can thrive at the intersection of these fields. His involvement exemplifies a commitment to nurturing future leaders and innovators through providing tangible career development opportunities like internships, mentorship and job placement support. At his other alma mater, Boston University School of Law, his achievements and impacts on the profession and the school were featured in a recent book celebrating BU Law’s 150th anniversary, honoring 150 people, places and precedents that have shaped our society.