Ambassador to Belgium: Who is Howard Gutman?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Yet another in a growing list of ambassadorial appointees who raised large sums of cash for President Barack Obama, Howard W. Gutman has a resume that is not without controversy. A high-octane lawyer and player in Democratic Party politics, Gutman is well-known around Washington, where his long career has included a stint as a registered lobbyist, and his legal work has involved representing former 1960s radicals and South American leaders. He also drew attention to himself during last year’s presidential campaign when he verbally blasted GOP running mate Sarah Palin for her parenting skills.

Born on July 8, 1956, in the Bronx, Gutman is the son of Max Gutman, who owned M&R Sportswear, a New York manufacturers of women’s clothing. Gutman completed his undergraduate studies, summa cum laude, at Columbia University in 1977, and then attended Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 1980.
He clerked for Judge Irving L. Goldberg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1980-1981) before briefly joining the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He left the firm to clerk for Justice Potter Stewart on the U.S. Supreme Court (1981-1982).
Gutman then served as a special assistant to FBI Director William Webster, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence, before joining the Washington, DC, firm of Williams & Connolly LLP in 1983.
During his more than 20 years with Williams & Connolly, Gutman focused on commercial litigation, including securities, contracts, antitrust, labor, banking, real estate, intellectual property, insurance coverage, international law and partnership disputes. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, financial services firms, labor unions, pension funds, law and accounting firms, government entities, real estate developers, sports teams, and political candidates.
In 1999 and 2000, Gutman was a registered federal lobbyist for Williams & Connolly.
In 2001, Gutman represented Susan Rosenberg, a former member of the Weather Underground who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton. He also helped former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez De Lozada and former Defense Minister José Carlos Sánchez Berzain, who were sued in U.S. court by citizens of Bolivia for their ordering the military to squash political protests, which allegedly resulted in 67 deaths and hundreds injured.
While serving as a partner at Williams & Connolly, Gutman was also a litigation counsel for Friedman, Billings & Ramsey, a leading U.S. investment bank. In addition, Gutman made several appearances on the short-lived HBO series K Street as a Washington attorney, has been an editor of Litigation Magazine for more than 24 years, and an active participant in the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section. He is a board member of the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington in Rockville, Maryland.
Gutman has been a player in Democratic politics for many years, having advised a variety of Democratic candidates and helped raise money for races for president, governor, and Congress. He assisted the Gore campaign in Florida in 2000.
During the 2008 presidential contest, Gutman was part of the Obama National Finance Committee and later a trustee on the Presidential Inauguration Committee. According to, Gutman and his wife, Michelle Loewinger, have contributed at least $86,150 to Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 1989. Gutman bundled at least $500,000 for Obama’s campaign committee and another $275,000 for his inauguration committee.
In September 2008, he publicly criticized Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on the Laura Ingraham radio show. In a discussion about Palin’s family and whether the media was being unfairly harsh on the Alaska governor because she was a woman, Gutman said, “This has nothing to do with gender, whether Todd Palin was the nominee or Sarah Palin was the nominee. If my daughter had just come home at 17 years old and said, ‘Mom, Dad, I’m pregnant, we have a family problem, ‘I wouldn’t say, ‘You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take this private family problem...and you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go on the international stage and broadcast this to the world.…This wasn’t a working mother issue, this was a parent issue”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Howard W. Gutman Biography (Williams & Connolly)
Howard Gutman (


JOAN GILBERT 12 years ago
howard gutman is son of a holocaust surviver who came to united states he worked unseemly hours in the "rag" business. he was never "wealthy". on his death, his children were his only legacy. leaving his wife to raise them alone. howard's superior intelligence, work ethic and conscience for the underdog brought him personal wealth, political recognition and ultimately the ambassadorship to belgium. i believe he "mis-spoke". he is a credit to the jewish community and will continue to be in whatever capacity he chooses to be a participant
Bill Levy 12 years ago
jews can save the world by finding a treatment for polio. they can save the lives of a million us servicemen by developing the a-bomb which prevented the invasion of the japanese islands. a million soldiers were saved mainly because of the work of a few dedicated jews. jews have given to this nation more than any other group and still according to the adl, an organization which i despise, 35% of the american population holds vehemently anti-jewish feelings against jews. perhaps it is because the very term which the jews have embraced as their own anti-semitism is so accepted by them instead of being furious at its use. it was invented by an anti-jew 19th century austrian journalist and since jews are so sensitive about the word jew they embrace it instead of disdaining it. jews stop using it and replace it with anti-jew. howard gutman is a very successful lawyer who defended liberal clients. but he knows nothing about what is happening between the israelis and the arabs who only since 1967 now call themselves "palestininans". there was no occupation of arab territories before 1967 unless you count the un resolution of palestine by creating jordan, most of the original palestine, and a sliver called israel which was attacked immediately by the entire arab nation again and again and again. howard gutman doesn't know anything about the history of his "people" or why israel has been trying since before 1948 trying to get the arabs to join them in peace. howard gutman is a disgrace and all his talents and jewish genes and his father's money and political influence which bought him an ambassadorship to belgium doesn't mean a thing. everytime i was in belgium it rained. i hope it rains on him to the day he dies. jews for all their brilliance are idiots. they could have killed hitler and his henchmen in the 1920s but did nothing. jews in america defended norman rockwell, the leader of the american nazi party, pro-bono. why? mel brooks thanks hilter for the success of "the producers" and rabbi michael lerner wants jews to share everything with their haters so they will like us. are they all crazy. jews don't know anything about themselves and their heritage other than the holocaust. the idiots who write on this site about the innocence of the arabs forget who destroyed the world trade center in 2001 and who danced in the street of the arab cities handing out sweets to celebrate the deaths of innocent americans. things are not going to get better and as all the killings by arabs of innocent americans such as daniel pearl or the ft. hood soldiers we better get our act together because we are losing. bill levy
nadine stals 14 years ago
Dear Mister Gutman, I read an intervieuw with you in the flamisch magazin Humo. I like your style but i have some questions,specially this one:when will President Obama take action against Israel?Don't get me wrong,i was very happy when he won the elections.But if you look around,America wants to be the policeman allover the world.But it does not respound to help the palestinian people.Israel,of all people ,should know what it means to be treated as a dog.WW2 lasted 5 years,they have been given the Palestinians allready 50 years off misery.And if i may say so:with the help of America.I know that the europeans should do something but i think that a feeling of guild is holding them back. President Obama has allready prouved that he can be very determent,i only hope he will take action against Israel.They must be stopped. The Palestinians are innocent on the holocaust,they should not be paying for something that happened 60 years ago in an other region.If Israel continues his actions against the Palestinians,its normal that those actions feed the hate against them.even the smallest chid knows this. So Mister Gutman,i said what i wanted and i wish you a very happy stay in Belgium. Friendly Greetings, Nadine Stals

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