Friday, September 12, 2008
Lawyer Named to Cultural Property Advisory Committee
By SHERRI M. OKAMOTO, Staff Writer
President George W. Bush has appointed Robert C. O’Brien, managing partner of Arent Fox LLP’s Los Angeles office, to the President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the firm announced yesterday.
The committee provides the president and State Department with recommended courses of action when another nation asks the United States for assistance in preventing the looting and global trafficking of national archaeological, ethnological and cultural treasures pursuant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Convention.
It is composed of experts and professionals representing the interests of museums, archaeology, anthropology, ethnology or related fields, experts in the international sale of cultural property and public members, who serve three-year terms.
Bush previously nominated O’Brien as U.S. alternate representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly, where O’Brien addressed the assembly on the question of Palestine and represented the United States in the assembly’s Sixth Committee, which considered the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
His other global activities include serving as the current co-chair of the Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, an initiative by America’s legal community to help develop the rule of law by funding projects that promote women’s rights, as well as access to justice, legal aid, professional development and other justice-related activities.
O’Brien also represents the Truce Foundation of the USA on a pro bono basis, which works to promote the traditional Olympic Truce recognized by the United Nations General Assembly whereby nations are urged to cease conflicts and suspend hostilities during the Olympic Games.
A graduate of UCLA and Boalt Hall School of Law, O’Brien was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1991, and previously served as a major in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve and as a judicial extern-clerk to U.S. District Judge J.P. Vukasin Jr. of the Northern District of California.
He also previously served as a legal officer with the United Nations Compensation Commission, a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he led a multinational team of attorneys, loss adjusters and accountants in the government claims section and was responsible for the Secretariat’s review and processing of billions of dollars in claims resulting from Iraq’s 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait.
O’Brien was managing partner of litigation boutique O’Brien Abeles LLP before the firm merged with Arent Fox in January 2007.
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