Stuart E. Eizenstat, with the law firm of Covington & Burling, was named Special Adviser on Holocaust Issues in December 2013. As such, he is responsible for offering policy advice on Holocaust-related matters, doing so in close coordination with the Department of State’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Douglas Davidson, in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and with the Office of International Claims and Investment Disputes in the Office of the Legal Adviser. Eizenstat held the same advisory position for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
During a decade and a half of public service in three US administrations, Eizenstat has held a number of key senior positions, including chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981); U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001).
During the Clinton Administration, he had a prominent role in the development of key international initiatives, including the negotiations of the Transatlantic Agenda with the European Union (establishing what remains of the framework for the US relationship with the EU); the development of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) among European and US CEOs; the negotiation of agreements with the European Union regarding the Helms-Burton Act and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act; the negotiation of the Japan Port Agreement with the Japanese government; and the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, where he led the US delegation.
Much of the interest in providing belated justice for victims of the Holocaust and other victims of Nazi tyranny during World War II was the result of his leadership of the Clinton Administration as Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State on Holocaust-Era Issues. He successfully negotiated major agreements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrian and French, and other European countries, covering restitution of property, payment for slave and forced laborers, recovery of looted art, bank accounts, and payment of insurance policies. His book on these events, Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labor, and the Unfinished Business of World War II, has been favorably received in publications like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and Publisher’s Weekly. It has been translated into German, French, Czech and Hebrew.
Eizenstat has received seven honorary doctorate degrees from universities and academic institutions. He has been awarded high civilian awards from the governments of France (Legion of Honor), Germany, Austria, and Belgium, as well as from Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers. In 2007, he was named "The Leading Lawyer in International Trade" in Washington, DC by Legal Times. His articles appear in The New York Times, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy magazine, and Foreign Affairs magazine, on a variety of international and domestic topics. Eizenstat grew up and was educated in the public schools of Atlanta. He is a Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of Harvard Law School.