Howard W. Gutman was nominated by President Barack Obama to be U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2009. He was sworn in on August 14, 2009.
Before being named Ambassador, Mr. Gutman was a partner with the Washington D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly LLP. In his over twenty-six years with the firm, Mr. Gutman handled the full gamut of litigation, investigation, and counseling matters. Identified as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine (December 2004, December 2007) and selected to numerous “Superlawyers” and similar attorney award lists, Mr. Gutman’s areas of practice focused on the complete range of complex commercial litigation, including securities, contracts, antitrust, labor, banking, real estate, intellectual property, insurance coverage, international law and partnership disputes; the representation of some of the nation's leading law firms and accounting firms in malpractice actions and partnership disputes; the representation of corporations, labor unions, and individuals in a variety of high-profile white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions; and many types of tort actions. Such cases were located in various federal and state courts throughout the United States, before various regulatory agencies, and in foreign tribunals.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Gutman served as a Special Assistant to F.B.I Director William H. Webster, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence; as a law clerk to Justice Potter Stewart (retd.) on the United States Supreme Court; and as a law clerk to Judge Irving L. Goldberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He is a 1980 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1977 graduate of Columbia University.
Mr. Gutman served as an adviser to a variety of Democratic candidates, including assisting in races for President, Governor, Senate, and Congress. He assisted the 2008 Obama campaign on constituency work, media and fundraising and was a Trustee on the Obama Presidential Inauguration Committee. He assisted the Gore campaign in the post-election litigation in 2000. Mr. Gutman has been a contributor to numerous television and radio programs, including frequent appearances on the Fox News Network during the 2008 Presidential campaign. Mr. Gutman appeared in several episodes of the HBO series "K Street," playing (not surprisingly) a Washington attorney and has made other movie and media appearances, including playing Tim Robbins’ lawyer in “Noise” and a high school parent in the 2009 release of “Fame.” Mr. Gutman has been an Editor of Litigation Magazine for over 24 years and an active participant in the ABA's Litigation Section. He is a member of the Board of the Washington Hebrew Home in Rockville, Maryland.