Senior State Department Official Ambassador Daniel Feldman Joins Akin Gump

(Washington, D.C.) – Akin Gump today announced that Ambassador Daniel F. Feldman, who most recently served as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the U.S. Department of State, has joined the firm as a partner in its international trade practice in Washington.

Amb. Feldman had been the highest-ranking official at the State Department responsible for relations with those two countries, actively shaping the Obama administration’s policies for the region, including on political transition, economic growth initiatives, regional integration efforts, international engagement with key partners, strategic communications and congressional outreach. Prior to his service at the State Department, he was a partner with the international law firm of Foley Hoag, where he co-chaired that firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice.

Amb. Feldman’s practice will focus on the intersection of U.S. national security law, international regulatory compliance and global public policy. At Akin Gump, he will advise multinational corporations, U.S. trade associations and foreign governments on international business and policy issues, leveraging his wealth of experience on behalf of the firm’s clients who are conducting business around the world, most notably in the Middle East and South Asia regions.

“As a top senior foreign policy official in Washington, Dan has worked closely with some of the highest-ranking leaders in government,” said Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith. “His ability to expand our global platform, particularly in the area of international policy, will prove to be enormously beneficial for our clients, and I know he will be a tremendous asset here.”

Drawing on his background in private practice, government service and crisis communications, media and strategic consulting, Amb. Feldman will also lead the firm’s corporate social responsibility practice, where he will advise multinational corporations and other entities in successfully mitigating a broad array of legal, reputational and operational risks that can arise from social and environmental factors. This will include counsel on developing internal policies grounded in best industry practices, engaging with key nongovernmental and governmental stakeholders, monitoring and conducting oversight of the implementation of standards, training employees and others in the supply chain and designing both crisis communications campaigns as well as longer-term strategies to enhance performance and reputation.

“Given his experience with a broad array of policy and national security issues, Dan has an extraordinary academic and professional background and has established himself as a top foreign policy leader,” said Hal Shapiro, head of Akin Gump’s international trade practice. “Additionally, having nurtured and led the first stand-alone corporate social responsibility legal practice in the United States, he possesses a keen insight into matters pertaining to international human rights and labor rights standards, environmental guidelines, sustainability and transparency. Dan brings great depth to our international trade policy team, and I am very happy to have him with us.”

“Having spent over six years directly engaged with some of the world’s most sensitive diplomatic issues, I knew Akin Gump would be an ideal global platform for my return to private practice,” said Amb. Feldman. “With its vast experience advising multinational corporations seeking to break into or expand into overseas markets and its strong record of advocacy on behalf of those trying to enter U.S. markets, the firm was a natural next step for me, and I am very excited by this opportunity.”

About Daniel F. Feldman

At the State Department, Amb. Feldman served as a principal advisor to secretaries of state John Kerry and Hillary Rodham Clinton regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan and broader South, Central and East Asian issues.

Serving in the SRAP office since its creation in 2009, originally as deputy to Amb. Richard Holbrooke, Amb. Feldman traveled frequently to the region with both secretaries as well as a range of other senior U.S. officials from throughout the interagency community. As special representative in 2014-2015, he was the key diplomatic strategist for policy formulation and implementation, including the successful mediation of the Afghan presidential electoral impasse. For more than six years, he oversaw all economic growth initiatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the promotion of private sector investment, regional trade efforts and the appropriation of billions of dollars of U.S. foreign assistance.

Amb. Feldman also created and managed the International Contact Group, a group of more than 50 countries most engaged in Afghanistan, and engaged frequently with key countries in the region, including India, China and the Gulf states, as well as European partners. For his service, Amb. Feldman was awarded two of the State Department’s highest awards, the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award by Secretary Kerry in 2015, and the Secretary’s Distinguished Honor Award by Secretary Clinton in 2013.

In addition to his work at the State Department, Amb. Feldman’s previous government experience includes serving as director for multilateral and humanitarian affairs at the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, where he was responsible for global human rights issues, and as counsel and communications advisor to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He was a senior national security and foreign policy advisor to the Kerry presidential campaign in 2004 and a communications advisor to the Gore campaign in 2000.

Amb. Feldman helped to found, and subsequently served on the board of, the National Security Network, a nonprofit foreign policy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., that focuses on international relations, global affairs and national security. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has appeared frequently in the media, on outlets including BBC, NPR, CNN and FOX News Channel, discussing national security issues.

Amb. Feldman received a joint J.D./M.P.A. degree from Columbia Law School and Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, and his B.A. degree, cum laude, from Tufts University.  He has been appointed a White House Fellow and a Henry Luce Scholar and was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and on the South African Supreme (Constitutional) Court.

About Akin Gump’s International Trade Practice

Akin Gump’s international trade practice offers an array of services designed to optimize its clients’ ability to engage in the cost-efficient and timely exchange of goods and services across borders, in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The team’s lawyers and advisors assist clients with issues before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the International Trade Commission; the departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Justice; the Department of Homeland Security, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and other federal agencies and offices that deal with international trade regulation.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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