Susan C. Schwab is a strategic advisor in Mayer Brown’s International Trade practice and offers cross practice and cross office counsel to Mayer Brown’s clients on a wide range of issues and policies. 

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

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 concluded the US’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Peru, Colombia, Panama and South Korea and launched the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. Ambassador Schwab also helped to achieve congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam, FTAs with Oman and Peru, and the bipartisan “May 10th, 2007 deal” on trade, labor and the environment. She also oversaw implementation of 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, Brazil and Indonesia; 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 access the Chinese market.

Spoken Languages

  • English


Williams College, BA, in Political Economy

Stanford University, MA, in Development Policy

The George Washington University, PhD, in Public Administration and International Business

  • Outstanding Woman in International Trade, Association of Women in International Trade (2006/07)
  • Woman of the Year, Trade Policy Forum (2007)
  • Distinguished Service Award, Washington International Trade Association (2008)