Charlene Barshefsky

Born:August 11, 1950 (age 69)
Career:U.S. Trade Representative, 1997-2001
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, 1993-1997
Education:B.A., University of Wisonsin, Madison
J.D., Catholic University of America

Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky served as the U.S. trade representative (USTR)—the chief trade negotiator and principal trade policymaker for the United States—from 1997 to 2001, and acting and deputy USTR from 1993 to 1996.

Barshefsky was born August 11, 1950. She received her bachelor of arts in English and political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her law degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Barshefsky served under President Clinton as deputy U.S. trade representative. She has also served as vice-chair of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association, as a member of the American Bar Association's Governing Council and the chair of the American Bar Association's Publications Committee. As the USTR and a member of the president's cabinet, Barshefsky was responsible for the negotiation of hundreds of complex market access, regulatory and investment agreements with virtually every major country in the world. She is best known internationally as the architect and chief negotiator of China's historic World Trade Organization agreement, as well as global agreements in financial services, telecommunications, intellectual property rights, high-technology products and cyberspace. She is recognized as a central figure for international business and international economic and trade issues. Her 25-year legal career in the field has encompassed international litigation, commercial negotiations, investment and regulatory advice, and dispute resolution; and she has written and lectured extensively both in the U.S. and abroad.

Barshefsky has been honored by both Harvard and Yale law schools; her negotiations are the subject of several Harvard Business School case studies and numerous profiles. She is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees and industry awards. The National Law Journal recently chose Barshefsky as one of "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" for her work between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2009. Barshefsky was also recognized as one of the top lawyers in Washington, D.C., in the area of international trade by Washingtonian magazine for 2007, 2009 and 2011.