Former Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer Joins Akin Gump
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Akin GumpFormer U.S. ambassador to both Australia and Japan J. Thomas Schieffer has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as senior counsel.

Amb. Schieffer will advise clients in the global energy, trade, transportation, defense and intelligence industries.

In the press release at PR Newswire, James C. Langdon Jr., senior executive partner at Akin Gump, was quoted as saying: “Tom Schieffer has long been well-respected – both in the U.S. and abroad – for his political acumen and business expertise.  A diplomat with significant foreign policy experience in the Pacific Rim as well as a highly accomplished lawyer and businessman in his native Texas, he will be a tremendous asset to our clients, whether they are doing business domestically or internationally.”


Elected at age 25, Amb. Schieffer served three terms in the Texas Legislature before returning to law school at the University of Texas. In 1979 he began a legal and business career focusing 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 he negotiated a public-private partnership with the city of Arlington, Texas. In 1991, he was appointed president of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He served in that role until 1999, when he returned to practicing law and managing investments and oil and gas properties.  

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 which time 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, and again unanimously confirmed, 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.  

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Amb. Schieffer has been recognized consistently at home and abroad for his leadership and organizational skills, particularly in the area of intelligence. He received the Order of Australia, which is 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 has received awards from the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has grown to be one of the world’s largest law firms, with more than 800 lawyers in 14 offices. A frequent recipient of industry recognition for its strength in litigation and high-stakes appellate work, its leadership in groundbreaking transactions and its depth in public policy, Akin Gump provides a comprehensive suite of services for global companies and local individuals.



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