On October 8, 2009, President Obama nominated David Huebner as the next U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa. Ambassador Huebner was sworn in on December 4, 2009 and presented his credentials to the New Zealand Governor-General the Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand on December 9, 2009.
Before being posted to New Zealand and Samoa, Ambassador Huebner was a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, where he headed the law firm's China Practice and International Disputes Practice. Based in Shanghai, he specialized in international arbitration and mediation and handled a wide range of matters across the Pacific Rim region. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a solicitor in England & Wales, and an attorney licensed in several U.S. jurisdictions.
Previously, the Ambassador was chairman of the international law firm Coudert Brothers and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law, where he taught courses in international business transactions, international arbitration, and international intellectual property. He has guest lectured on the same topics at other schools in the United States and China.
Ambassador Huebner has long been active in civic, non-profit, and educational activities. While at Coudert, he founded a program to support children’s education and welfare charities through the Firm’s offices around the world. He has chaired the California Law Revision Commission, has served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, and was a founding board member and general counsel of the national Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He has been an arbitrator for many years at the Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moots in Vienna and Hong Kong.
A native of Pennsylvania and long-time resident of California, Ambassador Huebner is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a graduate of the Yale Law School. While on leave of absence from Yale as a Henry Luce Scholar, he served in Tokyo as special assistant to the Hon. Kakizawa Koji, member of the lower house of Japan’s Diet.