Crain’s Chicago Business has named Walgreens’ Elena Kraus to their list of Notable General Counsels. The list recognizes 51 legal leaders hailing from multinationals, real estate firms, nonprofits and universities for their work navigating their organizations’ legal response to the pandemic, while also overseeing the usual docket of legal concerns – from intellectual property to corporate governance.
As general counsel at Walgreens for the last five years, Kraus’ responsibilities include regulatory and commercial legal advice and counsel, mergers and acquisitions, litigation and healthcare-services legal support – not to mention overseeing a team of more than 100.
As part of the response to the pandemic, and the larger role pharmacists are playing in community health, the Walgreens legal department worked closely with each Presidential Administration to advance the goal of accelerating access to vaccinations. The Legal department also has supported the development of contractual arrangements with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Additionally, Kraus and her team have worked on programs to advance the company’s strategic priorities, including an agreement between Walgreens Boots Alliance and VillageMD for Walgreens to be the first national pharmacy chain to offer full-service doctor offices co-located at stores at a large scale, as well as the expansion of the company’s strategic partnership with Microsoft and Adobe.
Throughout her time at Walgreens, Kraus has developed a passion for building high-performing teams while also mentoring and developing team members, becoming one of the company’s founding executive members of the Mentoring Circles pilot program in 2019. She also provides legal services to the Center for Disability & Elder Law and the National Immigration Justice Center and Equip for Equality, advocating for the civil rights of people with disabilities, and is a sponsor at the National Association of Minority & Women Owned Law Firms.