Ambassador to Sweden: Who is Mark Brzezinski?

Monday, September 19, 2011
Attorney and lobbyist Mark Brzezinski was nominated on September 6, 2011, by President Barack Obama to be the next U.S. ambassador to Sweden, replacing Matthew Barzun, who was one of Obama’s biggest campaign bundlers during the 2008 presidential campaign. Brzezinski was confirmed by the Senate on October 18.
 
Born in 1965, Brzezinski is the son of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser. His sister, Mika Brzezinski, is a host on MSNBC. His brother, Ian Brzezinski, served in the administration of President George W. Bush and was an advisor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
 
Brzezinski graduated from Dartmouth College in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in government, earned a JD from the University of Virginia Law School in 1991, and holds a DPhil in political science from Oxford University. He also earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study the Polish Constitutional Court.
 
From 1996 to 1999, he was a corporate and securities associate at Hogan & Hartson LLP in Washington, DC.
 
Brzezinski served in the Clinton administration for the next two years as a director of Russian/Eurasian, and later Southeast European, affairs for the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, he was White House coordinator for U.S. democracy and rule of law assistance programs for the region.
 
Brzezinski has been a partner at the firm McGuireWoods LLP, managing the international law practice in the firm’s Washington office. His legal work has focused on regulatory and legal compliance pertaining to sanctions, Export Administration Regulations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the development of corporate internal compliance programs.
 
Between 2002 and 2007, he was an active lobbyist for McGuireWoods, representing clients such as Smithfield Foods and Gannon International.
 
In the spring of 2005, he served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School for International Affairs.
 
He has donated more than $16,000 to politicians and political committees since 1999, most of which has gone to Democrats.
 
During the 2008 presidential race, Brzezinski served as a foreign policy advisor to Obama. Since his inauguration, Brzezinski has written numerous newspaper opinion pieces supporting Obama’s policies, in particular those relating to how U.S. businesses should deal with corrupt regimes abroad.
 
Brzezinski is the author of The Struggle for Constitutionalism in Poland(2000). He has been married twice, in 1991 to attorney Carolyn Campbell and in 2008 to Natalia Lopatniuk. He is fluent in Polish and knows some French.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Professional Profile (Oxford Analytica) (pdf)
Biography (McGuireWoods LLP)

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