As the top legal advisor in the State Department, David R. Andrews holds perhaps the plum judicial job in government. Reporting directly to Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Andrews has the entire legal side of U.S. foreign policy under his domain including 100 staff attorneys.
Nominated by President Clinton in June and confirmed by the Senate in August, Andrews, 55, took office in September, exiting San Francisco’s McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen LLP, where he helped to build one of California’s largest environmental law practices. As managing partner of the firm’s D.C. office from 1985 to 1991, and firm chairman 1991-95, Andrews rewrote hazardous waste laws for Taiwan, counseled Fortune 500 clients, and was a consultant for the U.S. Agency for International Development for Malaysia.
“I believe what Secretary Albright was looking for was a counselor with international experience who’s counselled businesses,” he says.
African American import-export businesses may be the first to feel the impact of Andrews’ new political muscle. “To the extent that any business is engaged in commerce, whether it’s Europe, Africa or Asia, I’m likely to have dealings with them,” Andrews says. “Since we’re assisting in developing treaties that have to do with commercial transactions, we’ll be working closely with the Department of Commerce.”
One of Andrews’ first duties was appearing before the International Court of Justice in the Hague on proceedings stemming from the bombing of Lockerbie Pan Am flight 103. He sounds ready for the challenge. “The responsibility of handling matters as the full representative of the United States is something I’m looking forward to.”