Hagir H. Elawad, Former Head of Legislative Affairs at UAE Embassy, Joins Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump announced today that Hagir H. Elawad, who served for a decade as legislative affairs director for the United Arab Emirates Embassy in the United States, has joined the firm as a senior policy advisor in its international trade practice. Most recently, Ms. Elawad served as the founder and principal of boutique government affairs consulting firm UAE Strategies.

Throughout her career, Ms. Elawad has cultivated experience focused on foreign affairs and national security issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While with the U.A.E. Embassy, Ms. Elawad created and led the embassy’s first Congressional Affairs Department and political-military affairs portfolio, where she engaged with the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government on a wide array of issues, including sanctions, export controls, aviation and aerospace, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States matters, government procurement, foreign military sales, energy, labor and human rights, and women’s rights.

Hal Shapiro, chair of the regulatory practice steering committee at Akin Gump, commented, “Hagir is a tremendous addition to our team. With more than 15 years of experience on matters of significant interest within the MENA region, including trade, foreign policy, defense and more, she brings insights and perspective that our clients will find highly valuable. I am excited to welcome her.”

“Having worked closely with the Akin Gump team for many years, the opportunity to join the firm and put my legislative and policy skills to work on behalf of Akin Gump’s clients is a high honor. I know first-hand that Akin Gump stands out as a firm that is situated perfectly at the nexus of law and policy, particularly as it pertains to matters in the Middle East,” added Ms. Elawad.

Prior to joining the U.A.E. Embassy, Ms. Elawad worked in project management with a private international development company, where she supported projects concerning gender, crisis prevention and recovery, and democracy and governance, primarily in the MENA region.

Ms. Elawad received her M.A. in international development and international economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 2007 and her B.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins University in 2002.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers and advisors in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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