Barbara Levi

Group Executive, Group General Counsel, Rio Tinto


Barbara is the Group Executive, Group General Counsel of Rio Tinto, based in London.


Alongside leading Rio Tinto’s legal teams around the world, Barbara oversees a range of governance functions including Company Secretariat, Ethics & Integrity and the Technical Evaluation Group.


Barbara has extensive experience across corporate, commercial and compliance matters. Over the last 20 years, she has held a number of senior legal roles across Europe and in the US, in-house and in private practice.


Before joining Rio Tinto, Barbara has worked for 15 years at Novartis in different senior roles such as Group Legal Head M&A and Strategic Transactions, General Counsel of Sandoz, the generic arm of Novartis, Global Legal Head Product Strategy & Commercialization, General Counsel for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Global Legal Head for Technical Operations for the Pharma division of Novartis. In addition, Barbara led cross-divisional practice teams, building capabilities and establishing standards and processes for compliance with trade sanctions and anti- bribery.


Before joining Novartis, Barbara has worked as litigator in law firms in Milan (Italy) and as corporate and transactional attorney in law firms in New York City (US) for several years. She is an attorney-at-law, admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the New York Bar, and the Italian Bar.


Known for her strong legal judgment, her business acumen and high energy, Barbara is a renowned leader in the industry and a frequent speaker on legal & compliance topics. Barbara is passionate about leadership and gender equality and, as mother of four children, has a wide interest in societal and community topics – she served as a
board member of the International School in Basel in 2015 and 2016.