Ambassador Susan Esserman, a former Deputy US Trade Representative who leads Steptoe’s International Trade Policy practice, advises US and foreign clients on expanding access to foreign markets and on trade policy matters and represents clients in international trade litigation and dispute resolution matters. Ambassador Esserman consistently receives top rankings from Chambers and other ranking organizations and was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s outstanding women lawyers.
She brings to bear a strategic perspective arising from her experience in the US Government as Deputy USTR and in three other senior government posts. As Deputy USTR, Ambassador Esserman was responsible for US trade policy and negotiations in the WTO and with Europe, India, Russia, the former Soviet Union, Africa, and the Middle East.
While serving as USTR General Counsel, she played a lead role in devising US litigation strategy in the critical early years of WTO dispute resolution. As Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Ambassador Esserman was the decision-maker in hundreds of antidumping cases and was also instrumental in developing US antidumping and countervailing duty trade legislation and regulations, which govern US trade cases today.
Ambassador Esserman is a leader of the firm’s pro bono efforts to assist survivors of human trafficking. She is the Founder and Director of the University of Maryland SAFE (Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors.
The SAFE Center is the first ever university-based program to combine comprehensive services for sex and labor trafficking survivors (legal, case management, medical, mental health, and economic empowerment) with research and advocacy to combat trafficking.
- Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Chair of the Nominating Committee, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum
- Board of Managerial Trustees, International Association for Women Judges
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Wellesley Business Leadership Council
- Visiting Committee, University of Miami Law School
- J.D., University of Michigan Law School, magna cum laude; Administrative Editor, Editorial Board, Michigan Law Review
- B.A., Wellesley College, with honors, Wellesley College Scholar
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