Washington, D.C., February 17, 2009—Ambassador Frank G. Wisner, one of the nation’s most respected diplomats, is joining Patton Boggs LLP in early March. Ambassador Wisner will provide clients with strategic global advice concerning business, politics and international law from the firm’s Washington and New York City offices.
Ambassador Wisner’s diplomatic career spans four decades and eight presidents. He served as ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines and India during his extensive career in the State Department. He plans to use his wealth of diplomatic experience to assist clients seeking a stronger global presence.
The firm looks to Ambassador Wisner to use his expertise in the Middle East and India to assist its American and international clients.
“It is a real coup for the firm to have Ambassador Wisner – one of the most experienced and highly regarded diplomats -- join our ranks,” said Stuart M. Pape, managing partner of Patton Boggs. “The ambassador will play a pivotal role in enhancing our thriving international practice. His in-depth knowledge of global politics and the international financial world is a huge asset for our clients.”
After graduating from Princeton University in 1961, Ambassador Wisner joined the State Department as a foreign service officer. His first post was Algiers immediately after it won independence from France. In 1964, he went to Vietnam where he spent four years at the apex of the war.
Ambassador Wisner worked as a senior diplomat in Tunisia and Bangladesh before returning to Washington in 1974 to become the director of plans and management in the Bureau of Public Affairs. He then joined the President’s Interagency Task Force on Indochina, the agency responsible for evacuating and settling nearly one million refugees.
Later, he was named the director of the Office of Southern African Affairs and worked closely with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to launch negotiations with Zimbabwe and Namibia. He served as deputy executive secretary of the State Department during the Carter administration. He was senior deputy assistant secretary for African Affairs from 1982 to 1986, a period of intense conflict leading up to the end of Apartheid in South Africa.
“Patton Boggs provides exceptional advice and legal support to governments, corporations and individuals on issues of international strategy, regulation and business,” Ambassador Wisner said. “It is an honor to join the firm’s ranks and be a service to our clients in this country and abroad.”
Ambassador Wisner joins the firm from American International Group where he was the vice chairman of external affairs.
Ambassador Wisner is the former chairman and current member of the board of the U.S. India Business Council, a member of the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s business committee and other nonprofit groups.