James Silkenat

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James R. Silkenat is a former President of the 400,000 member American Bar Association (2013-2014) and a former Chairman of the 20,000 member American Bar Association Section of International Law.  He is a former Partner in the New York office of Sullivan & Worcester and specializes in the areas of international finance, banking, securities and corporate law. He is also a former Chairman of the ABA's Section Officers Conference, a member of the Executive Committee of the ABA's Board of Governors and Chairman of the ABA's Latin American Legal Initiatives Council. From 1980 to 1986 Mr. Silkenat was Legal Counsel for the International Finance Corporation, the private sector-oriented affiliate of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., where he concentrated on privatization issues (including projects in Pakistan, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, China and other countries). He has also handled significant privatization efforts in Australia, Peru, South Africa and Turkey. He is the founder and a former Chairman of the American Bar Association's Committee on International Privatization. Mr. Silkenat received his J.D. Degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an Editor of the Law Review. He also received an LL.M. Degree in International Law from New York University School of Law. Mr. Silkenat was formerly Chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on the People's Republic of China and was the founder of the China Law Reporter. He has led Delegations to the Common Market and to Mexico for the American Bar Association and to China for the ABA, the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He has also served as a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and as a Fellow in the U.S. State Department Scholar/Diplomat Program. Mr. Silkenat is the Editor of: The ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations (1st, 2nd and 3rd Editions); The Moscow Conference on Law and Bilateral Economic Relations; The Law of International Insolvencies and Debt Restructurings; The Imperial Presidency and Consequences of 9/11: Lawyers React to the Global War On Terrorism; and the first five Editions of The ABA Guide to Foreign Law Firms. He is also the author of more than 100 articles on international law, finance and public policy and has published articles in the Harvard Law Review, Business Week Magazine, The New York Times and The Stanford Law Review, among other publications. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center from 1982 to 1986, where he taught a graduate seminar on international project financing. Mr. Silkenat also previously served as Chairman of both The Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights (now, Human Rights First) and The Council of New York Law Associates (now, The Lawyers Alliance for New York). He is a member of the ABA House of Delegates, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Silkenat is also a past Chairman of the International Human Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and a former Chair of both the City Bar's Task Force on International Legal Services and its Council on International Affairs. Mr. Silkenat is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Bar Association Section of International Law and the Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement from Drury University. Currently, Mr. Silkenat serves as a Director of the World Justice Project and is a former member of the ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession.  In 2015 he was elected an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple Inn in London.

December 2016


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