Mark Gitenstein is special counsel in the International Trade practice in Mayer Brown's Washington DC office. He was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Romania, completing his term of service at the end of 2012. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Biden Foundation.
As US Ambassador to Romania, he worked to strengthen relations with Romania on a variety of issues. He actively promoted deeper development of Romania’s equity markets, as well as a fair and transparent business environment for all investors. He also encouraged greater private sector involvement in state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including the introduction of a corporate governance code for SOEs. Notably, the US-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement was negotiated and signed during his tenure. In 2012, Romanian President Traian Băsescu awarded Mark with the “Star of Romanian Grand Cross,” the country’s highest civil order.
Before undertaking his ambassadorial role, Mark spent two decades at Mayer Brown, focusing his practice primarily on issues of government relations. He advised corporations and associations on legislative strategies, monitored and drafted legislation on behalf of corporate clients and advised clients in the context of antitrust, white-collar crime and civil liability controversies. Additionally, he was a non-resident senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where he specialized in issues related to national security and civil liberties.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown in 1989, Mark was the executive director of the Foundation for Change, Inc. and earlier held several senior-level government positions, including chief counsel to the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee, minority chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee and chief counsel for the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. He also served as counsel to the US Senate Intelligence Committee and counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.
Mark is the author of Matters of Principle, an award winning book on his experience managing the Judiciary Committee staff during the confirmation battle over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.