J. Thomas Schieffer, a former U.S. ambassador to both Australia and Japan, has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as senior counsel, the firm announced today. Amb. Schieffer will advise clients in the global energy, trade, transportation, defense and intelligence industries.
Amb. Schieffer began his career in the Texas Legislature. Elected at age 25, he served three terms before returning to law school at the University of Texas. In 1979 he began a legal and business career that focused on oil and gas and investment matters.
An early investor with George W. Bush and Edward W. (Rusty) Rose in the group that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club in 1989, Amb. Schieffer was named partner-in-charge of ballpark development in 1990, and in that capacity negotiated a public-private partnership with the city of Arlington, Texas. He served as president of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club from 1991 to 1999, when he returned to practicing law.
In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Schieffer as U.S. ambassador to Australia. Confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate, he served for four years. During his tenure the United States negotiated a free-trade agreement with Australia and deepened the intelligence ties between the two countries. In 2005, he was appointed by President Bush as U.S. ambassador to Japan. During his four-year tenure, Amb. Schieffer was a principal negotiator on the 2006 Force Transformation Agreement, the most substantive revision of the security agreement between the United States and Japan since 1960, and was actively involved in the Six Party Talks, which centered on North Korea's attempts to become a nuclear power.
A much-decorated diplomat, Amb. Schieffer has been recognized repeatedly at home and abroad for his leadership and organizational skills, particularly in the area of intelligence. He received the Order of Australia - the highest award that can be presented to a foreigner by the Australian government - for his work in strengthening the Australian-American Alliance, and the Distinguished Public Service Award - the Pentagon's highest civilian recognition - for his work in strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance. In addition, he received awards from the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Amb. Schieffer serves on the board of directors of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, the board of councilors of the U.S.-Japan Council, and the advisory boards of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. He previously served on the boards of Texas Commerce Bank and NYSE-traded Drew Industries, as a trustee of Tarrant County Junior College and as a member of its Foundation's board, and as a member of the boards of the Dallas County Community College Foundation, the Winston School and the Penrose Foundation.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is pleased to announce that Suren E. Gortsunyan has joined its Moscow office as a partner in the international corporate transactions practice.
Mr. Gortsunyan advises both domestic and international companies on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, private equity transactions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. His clients include companies in the real estate, retail and consumer, telecommunications, oil services, financial services and industrial sectors.
Suren Gortsunyan has extensive experience participating in legislative initiatives for the Russian Federation in the area of corporate and securities laws and has acted as an adviser to the Federal Commission on the Securities Market of the Russian Federation (currently the Federal Service for the Financial Markets).
Mr. Gortsunyan is ranked by The Best Lawyers in Russia (2009-2010) and as a "Leader in his Field" by Chambers Europe 2009-2010 and Chambers Global 2009-2010, as well as recommended by PLC's Which Lawyer? as a corporate/M&A specialist in Russia (2008-2010).