Home Inside the Room: Attorney-Diplomats at work on U.S. Foreign Relations (Part Two)

    Inside the Room: Attorney-Diplomats at work on U.S. Foreign Relations (Part Two)

    The Washington Foreign Law Society


    Inside The Room: Attorney-Diplomats at work on U.S. Foreign Relations

     Thursday, March 18th, 2021
    from 5:30 to 6:45 PM ET

    – This event is co-sponsored by ASIL, the American Society of International Law, and by the ABA International Law Section – 

    The Washington Foreign Law Society presents the second of a two-part series featuring Mark B. Feldman and Jeffrey H. Smith, former government attorneys with decades of experience in foreign affairs.   This series focuses on the interplay between law and policy on major international events and crises.  Those who registered for the first interview will need to register below for this interview.


    Mr. Smith interviewed Mr. Feldman on February 18.  A video of the interview will be available on the WFLS’ website.  In part two of the series, Mr. Feldman will interview Mr. Smith on three matters.  First, his role as a counsel to the Joint Congressional Committee investigating the Iran-Contra scandal in 1986-1987. Second, his efforts at State in conducting multiple “Spy Trades” in Berlin with Wolfgang Vogel, the East German Lawyer, that culminated in the release of Soviet dissident Anatoly Sharansky in 1986.  Third, as the U.S. trial observer in the 1980 trial of Korean politician Kim Dae Jung and US efforts to obtain Mr. Kim’s release.  (Kim was later elected President of the Republic of Korea and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000).

    Mark B. Feldman

    Mark B. Feldman teaches foreign relations law at Georgetown.  As Deputy and Acting Legal Adviser (1974-81), Professor Feldman played a major role in drafting the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the Iran Claims Agreement.  He negotiated the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Property as well as U.S. maritime boundaries with Canada, Cuba and Mexico.  Professor Feldman issued the first State Department suggestion of immunity for a foreign official in 1976 and initiated the 1967 Alaska Treaty line as the maritime boundary with Russia.

    In private practice, Professor Feldman established the treaty exception to the federal act of state doctrine in the Kalamazoo Spice cases and chaired the ABA committee responsible for the 1988 amendments to the FSIA, including the arbitration exception. He advised Disney on arbitration procedures for its Park near Paris, and argued for the United States in the Gulf of Maine case at the ICJ. His work, publications and Congressional testimony are described at http://www.markfeldmaninternationallaw.com/new-page-2.

    Jeffrey Smith

    Jeffrey Smith is the former head of Arnold & Porter’s National Security practice. He regularly counsels both US and foreign companies on a wide range of national security issues. His practice includes advising major defense and aerospace companies and representing major media organizations and individuals with respect to First Amendment issues and unauthorized disclosures of classified information. Mr. Smith has frequently represented prominent individuals in congressional investigations and federal prosecutions. He has also represented major universities on national security issues.

    Mr. Smith is a former General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He has also served as General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee and was Senator Sam Nunn’s designee to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Iran/Contra Committee. Prior to working for the Senate, he was the Assistant Legal Adviser for Law Enforcement and Intelligence at the State Department. Earlier, as an Army Judge Advocate General officer, he served as the Pentagon’s lawyer for the Panama Canal negotiations. Mr. Smith’s complete bio and selected work and publications can be found at https://www.arnoldporter.com/en/people/s/smith-jeffrey-h.

    Please register for the March 18 event using the following form: