Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced today that Mark Gitenstein has rejoined the firm in Washington DC as Special Counsel in the Government & Global Trade practice. Mr. Gitenstein was a partner at the firm before being appointed in 2009 by President Barak Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Romania, completing his term of service at the end of 2012.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark back to the firm,” said Mayer Brown Chairman Paul Theiss. “His long and distinguished career in both public service and private practice has been characterized by skill, dedication and integrity. Those attributes, along with the insights he gained and the relationships he established during his ambassadorial tenure in Romania, will make him a great asset to our clients seeking to establish or expand their business relationships in that part of the world.”

Mr. Gitenstein said, “I welcome the opportunity to again work with Mayer Brown’s outstanding attorneys worldwide to provide clients with strategic counsel and creative solutions to their business challenges. Commercial opportunities abound in Romania and throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and my experience and contacts in the region can help clients capitalize on them.”

As US Ambassador to Romania, Mr. Gitenstein worked to strengthen relations with Romania on a variety of issues. He actively promoted deeper development of Romania’s equity markets, as well as a fair and transparent business environment for all investors. He also encouraged greater private sector involvement in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including the introduction of a corporate governance code for SOEs. Notably, the US-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement was negotiated and signed during Mr. Gitenstein’s tenure. In 2012, Romanian President Traian Băsescu awarded Mr. Gitenstein with the “Star of Romania Grand Cross,” the country’s highest civil order.

Before undertaking his ambassadorial role, Mr. Gitenstein spent two decades at Mayer Brown, focusing his practice primarily on issues of government relations. He advised corporations and associations on legislative strategies, monitored and drafted legislation on behalf of corporate clients and advised clients in the context of antitrust, white-collar crime and civil liability controversies. Additionally, he was a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he specialized in issues related to national security and civil liberties.

Mickey Kantor, a partner in Mayer Brown’s Government & Global Trade practice who served as Secretary of Commerce and United States Trade Representative in the Clinton Administration, said, “I look forward to collaborating again with Mark on a host of government-related policy matters. His keen understanding of market access barriers, particularly in Eastern Europe, will make him a great asset to our clients with growing business interests in these counties.”

Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 1989, Mr. Gitenstein was the executive director of the Foundation for Change, Inc. and earlier held several senior-level government positions, including chief counsel to the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee, minority chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and chief counsel for the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. He also served as counsel to the US Senate Intelligence Committee and counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.

Mr. Gitenstein is the author of Matters of Principle, an award-winning book on his experience managing the Judiciary Committee staff during the confirmation battle over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. He earned a JD from Georgetown Law School and a BA degree from Duke University.