Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling LLP, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Ambassador Eizenstat heads the firm’s international practice. His work at Covington focuses on resolving international trade problems and business disputes with the US and foreign governments, and international business transactions and regulations on behalf of US companies and others around the world.
During a decade and a half of public service in three US administrations, Ambassador Eizenstat has held a number of key senior positions, including chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981); U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001).
During the Clinton Administration, he had a prominent role in the development of key international initiatives, including the negotiations of the Transatlantic Agenda with the European Union (establishing what remains of the framework for the US relationship with the EU); the development of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) among European and US CEOs; the negotiation of agreements with the European Union regarding the Helms-Burton Act and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act; the negotiation of the Japan Port Agreement with the Japanese government; and the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, where he led the US delegation.
Much of the interest in providing belated justice for victims of the Holocaust and other victims of Nazi tyranny during World War II was the result of his leadership of the Clinton Administration as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues. He successfully negotiated major agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrian and French, and other European countries, covering restitution of property, payment for slave and forced laborers, recovery of looted art, bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies. His book on these events, Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II, has been favorably received in publications like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and Publisher’s Weekly. It has been translated into German, French, Czech and Hebrew.
Ambassador Eizenstat has received eight honorary doctorate degrees from universities and academic institutions. He has been awarded high civilian awards from the governments of France (Legion of Honor), Germany, Austria, and Belgium, as well as from Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers. In 2007, he was named "The Leading Lawyer in International Trade" in Washington, DC by Legal Times. His articles appear in The New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy magazine, and Foreign Affairs magazine, on a variety of international and domestic topics.
Ambassador Eizenstat grew up and was educated in the public schools of Atlanta. He is a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of Harvard Law School. He is married to Frances Eizenstat and has two sons and eight grandchildren.