A former U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tom provides strategic business and government relations counsel to clients, effectively mixing his extensive legal and lobbying experience. He regularly advises corporate CEOs and chief legal officers on a variety of government relations issues in Washington, internationally, and in major U.S. state capitals.

Tom is a registered lobbyist before the U.S. Senate and House and has an active federal agency and Capitol Hill practice. He is also a registered lobbyist in several states including New York and California. Tom’s lobbying experience includes financial services, insurance products, U.S. departments of labor and state, environmental, tax, health care, and foreign affairs.

Tom is also an accomplished labor and employment litigator and counselor. He has successfully tried employment lawsuits from the defense side. His experience includes more than 500 depositions, multiple non-jury and jury trials, injunctions, and temporary restraining order matters. He has handled employment cases across the U.S. with significant experience in state and federal courts in Ohio at the trial and appellate levels.

In addition, Tom counsels clients on regulatory matters involving the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments, including Foreign Corrupt Practices (FCPA) and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) issues. He also assists clients in regulatory compliance before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Tom’s career experience has provided him with a strong understanding of legal, political, and economic issues of Africa, Asia (including South Asia), the Middle East, Latin America, Cuba, and Eastern Europe. He has significant experience in international law and arbitration and regularly negotiates the resolution of legal matters and disputes for U.S. multinationals and major South African companies in various countries.

Tom received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School and has continued his involvement with the law school throughout his legal career. Tom received his B.A. from George Washington University.


  • Taft Pro Bono Honor Roll Award


All Service Areas


  • University of Minnesota Law School (1979)
  • George Washington (1976)


  • State - District of Columbia
  • State - Ohio
  • State - New York

Notable Matters

Career Highlights

  • Served as U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1997 to 2001.
  • Representing U.S. multinational corporations and manufacturers, consumer products companies, and major South African, United Kingdom, and Japanese banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, and trade associations for nearly 40 years.
  • Advising multinational clients on issues surrounding Iran sanctions and sanctions involving Venezuela, Syria, Sudan, and Myanmar.
  • Significant pro bono litigation work including, serving as lead counsel for all of the plaintiffs, in a national civil rights case to close a segregated public school, in Coalition for Education Reform, et al v. Indian River School District, in which the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware approved a settlement agreement, consent order and appointment of a special master.
  • Regularly working as legal counsel between companies and governmental agencies to resolve or mitigate issues, such as drafting a Memorandum of Understanding between the Drug Enforcement Administration and a large consumer products company after they faced U.S. import issues involving the shipment of raw materials and representing a major pet food manufacturer facing state regulatory issues.
  • While attending George Washington University, worked for Robert DeForrest at Afro-American Bicentennial Corp (ABC) (now known as Afro-American Institute for Historic Preservation and Community Development). Robert and his brother were featured in a Washington Post article on Feb. 11, 2023 detailing their influential work for historic preservation. Click here to read the story.

Lobbying Experience

  • Registered federal lobbyist with Congress since 1985.
  • Drafting bills, proposing amendments, and working with Bill drafters, resulting in a number of legislative successes, including Dodd-Frank Amendments.
  • Stopping numerous bills in various states that would have negatively impacted companies, such as a Proposition 65 issue in California and various state chemical laws and regulations.
  • Helping promote legislation at the state level by working with a coalition of paint companies and the trial bar to effectuate a mutually acceptable resolution.
  • Assisted an insurance client with an important matter involving the registration and offering of annuities with the SEC.

Professional Affiliations

  • Council of American Ambassadors

    Board of Directors

  • Council on Foreign Relations


  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems

    Board of Directors

  • American Bar Foundation


  • American Law Institute


  • University of Minnesota Law School

    Past Advisory Board Member

  • Corporate Council on Africa

    Past Member, Board of Directors

Community Involvement

  • Muslims for Progressive Values

    Board of Trustees

  • Southeast Arts and Cultural Foundation

    Board of Directors