Jeff Bleich currently heads the Global Practice for Munger, Tolles & Olson, specializing in complex international disputes, and serves as an advisor to numerous international corporations and state and federal entities. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013, and as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House during the first year of the Administration. For his federal service, Ambassador Bleich has received numerous awards, including the highest civilian honors awarded by the Department of Defense Pacific Command and the Director of National Intelligence. In 2013, he received, from Secretary Kerry, the State Department’s highest award for a non-career ambassador – The Sue M. Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service – awarded to only one U.S. Ambassador, for his leading role in the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific.
Ambassador Bleich previously served in the Clinton Administration, as well as serving as the Chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, President of the California State Bar, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, as well as leading or chairing several other organizations.
Ambassador Bleich has taught courses in constitutional and international law at The University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Sydney. He holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College, an M.P.P. from Harvard with highest honors, a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley with highest honors, and honorary Doctorates from San Francisco State University and Flinders University.
Ambassador Bleich clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Howard Holtzmann of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at The Hague, and was the Special Rapporteur for the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
He is currently a member of the Board of Pratt Industries, the San Francisco Symphony, the World Affairs Council, the U.S. Studies Centre, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, and Willie Mays’ Say Hey Foundation. He was elected a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute.