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2 March 2010 - Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced today that former United States Trade Representative (USTR) Susan C. Schwab has joined the firm’s Washington, DC office as a Strategic Advisor. In this newly created position, Ambassador Schwab will work across practice groups and offices to counsel the firm’s clients on a wide range of issues and policies. She is the second former USTR to join the firm, following Mickey Kantor, a partner at the firm since 1997 who served in the Clinton Administration.

“Ambassador Schwab is one of the world’s most dynamic and influential leaders on matters of international trade and commerce,” said Mayer Brown Chairman Bert Krueger. “She brings to Mayer Brown exceptional insight and judgment on these issues, along with well-established working relationships with many leaders in the global political and business communities. Her wise counsel on the most pressing strategic and commercial issues will be invaluable to our US and global clients.”

Ambassador Schwab’s advisory role for Mayer Brown will be in addition to her professorship at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where previously she had served as Dean and as President of the University System of Maryland Foundation. From 2005-2009 she served as USTR and Deputy USTR in the George W. Bush Administration. She also sits on the board of the US Air Force Academy and several corporate boards, and is a frequent speaker at associations, corporations, and think tanks.

“Mayer Brown is a premier law firm with an exceptional Government & Global Trade practice,” Ambassador Schwab said. “The firm’s global platform gives me a unique opportunity to continue working on important strategic issues at the highest levels of business and government. I look forward to working with the firm’s outstanding attorneys in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America to provide strategic counsel and creative solutions to clients who are tackling commercial opportunities and challenges.” 

Mr. Kantor commented, “I look forward to collaborating with Susan on a host of trade and policy matters. Our combined knowledge, experience, and relationships will enable us to provide unparalleled service to our clients.”

During her tenure as the USTR, Ambassador Schwab successfully opened markets for US products and services in every region of the world, and across a variety of business sectors and industries. She helped negotiate the US’s bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Oman, Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Ambassador Schwab also helped to achieve Congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam, FTAs with Oman and Peru, and the “May 10th, 2007 deal” on trade, labor and the environment. She also oversaw implementation deals for FTAs with 6 Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) countries, Bahrain, Oman and Peru. Additionally, she negotiated in the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round with major economic powers such as the European Union, China, India, and Brazil; resolved a longstanding dispute with Canada over softwood lumber; negotiated the US bilateral WTO accession agreement with Russia; and filed and resolved multiple cases in defense of US commercial interests before the WTO.

Ambassador Schwab has more than three decades of international trade and policy experience. She began her career in the USTR’s office as a Trade Negotiator for agriculture issues. After two years, she headed to Tokyo where she served as a Trade Policy officer at the American Embassy. She later spent 8 years working for Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo), first as Chief Economist and Legislative Assistant for International Trade and then as Legislative Director. In 1989 she became the Director General of the US & Foreign Commercial Service at the US Department of Commerce, where she oversaw 200 international and domestic field offices with 1300 employees and a budget totaling $115 million. Following that, she worked as a senior executive at a major US company negotiating deals to open the Chinese market.

During her distinguished career, Ambassador Schwab has received several awards, including: Outstanding Woman in International Trade, Association of Women in International Trade (2006/07); Woman of the Year, Trade Policy Forum (2007); and the Distinguished Service Award, Washington International Trade Association (2008).

Ambassador Schwab holds a B.A. in Political Economy from Williams College, an M.A. in Development Policy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Public Administration and International Business from the George Washington University.