Erin H. Abrams has nearly 20 years of legal and management experience at blue-chip law firms, financial services, and pre-IPO technology companies. Ms. Abrams currently serves as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Via Transportation, Inc., a venture-backed B2B SaaS company in the on-demand transit technology space. Via — whose investors include Exor, Pitango, 83 North, Janus, Blackrock, and ION Capital — was most recently valued at $3.5 billion in its last round of equity financing in February 2023. During her nearly 10 years at Via, she has led the company from Series A to IPO-ready as the Co-Chair of the company’s IPO Task Force alongside Via’s CFO. Ms. Abrams has played a pivotal role in helping Via scale its high-growth business of developing public mobility systems to optimize networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair-accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the world. As a lifelong champion of diversity and inclusion, she co-chairs the environmental, social and governance (ESG) Task Force. She sits on the company’s Executive Leadership Team and manages the company’s risk, insurance, and compliance functions, as well as its patent portfolio.
Ms. Abrams serves as a trusted boardroom advisor and director of many of Via’s foreign subsidiaries and domestic operating companies. She manages a team of 20 legal professionals at the company, which has over 1200 employees. She has broad leadership experience in corporate strategy at high-growth companies, complex contract negotiation, corporate governance, international M&A, post-acquisition integration, risk management, global expansion, compliance, public policy, ESG, high-stakes litigation, enterprise SaaS sales and licensing, and intellectual property.
At Via, Ms. Abrams has overseen the business’s transition from a consumer-focused ridesharing service to a B2B enterprise SaaS company. She built and scaled the Company’s public sector contracting process from scratch and developed an efficient SaaS licensing machine while protecting the Company’s intellectual property. She works extensively with federal, state, and overseas regulators, as she has led the company’s expansion into over 35 countries. Ms. Abrams has helped the company build best-in-class governance and audit processes, led the company through seven rounds of equity financing, established various credit facilities, and liaised with regulators around the world. She has overseen the development, commercialization, and defense of the company’s patent portfolio and strategy. She has expertise in building a bespoke insurance program and managing enterprise risk in a heavily regulated space.
Ms. Abrams was promoted to her current role at Via in 2022 after having served as the company’s General Counsel since 2018 and establishing the legal function as Vice President and Head of Legal Affairs in 2014. Ms. Abrams’ decade-long tenure with Via exemplifies her personal commitment and dedication to ensuring that Via achieves its strategic objectives.
Prior to her work with Via, Ms. Abrams managed a compliance function at Citigroup focused on preventing and detecting insider trading and financial crimes at the bank. She began her career at Fried Frank, where she was a securities and white-collar litigator, an expert on anticorruption and anti-bribery laws, and designed remediation and compliance programs in high-risk jurisdictions around the world.
Board Service and Other Accomplishments
In addition to her role as Corporate Secretary at Via, where she has attended every board of directors meeting over the last decade, Ms. Abrams also serves as Vice President of the board of directors of Urban Pathways, a non-profit providing services and supportive housing to homeless New Yorkers, with a $40 million budget and an $80 million real estate portfolio of affordable housing. As a board member of Urban Pathways, she has led the organization through strategic planning and succession planning efforts and created its diversity, equity, and inclusion program (DEI). She has chaired the Regulatory and Compliance Committee. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked closely with the NYC Mayor’s Office to address the complex public health challenges of caring for the city’s homeless population.
A founding member of TechGC and an active member of the Women’s General Counsel Network, Ms. Abrams is a frequent speaker on topics such as building and scaling high-tech startups, venture-backed financing and M&A transactions, and the ethics of generative AI. Ms. Abrams also sits on the Transportation Committee of the New York City Bar Association. As an adjunct faculty member at Columbia Law School, she teaches a course on Entrepreneurship and In-House Practice.
Ms. Abrams is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. in Political Science and Comparative Area Studies.