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Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University ; Principal, Madison Law & Policy Group


Mark V. Vlasic has served as a soldier, a lawyer, a professor, and a diplomat, and has worked for the White House, the Pentagon, the World Bank, the United Nations, and a large international law firm.  He is currently a senior fellow and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University and a principal at Madison Law & Strategy Group PLLC, where he heads the firm’s international practice, and focuses on international law, international trade, business diplomacy, business intelligence, public policy, human rights, and stolen asset recovery matters.


Mark's private practice background includes: working with international organizations, sovereign governments, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations regarding complex international law, trade, human rights and public policy matters, including World Bank/United Nations collaboration/procurement/sustainability/“green” energy issues, state succession/boundary issues, sovereign property matters, INTERPOL "red notice" arrest warrant abuse issues, and social responsibility issues; providing advice regarding business diplomacy, public-private partnerships, international banking, and international arbitration/litigation issues (including at the European Court of Human Rights); participating in asset recovery, cartel, foreign corruption, and securities fraud investigations around the world (including the Charles Taylor/Liberia asset recovery case); and, advising clients on the application and enforcement of U.S. economic sanctions and embargos, export controls, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Mark has also advised companies subject to investigations and enforcement actions by the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Justice, and Treasury, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Prior to his return to academia and private practice, Mark was a public sector specialist at the World Bank Group, where he served as the first head of operations of the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative, launched by President Robert Zoellick and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help developing countries recover stolen assets from past dictators and grand corruption cases.  A member of StAR’s management team, Mark was responsible for country engagements on four continents, furthered bilateral relations with major financial centers, foreign governments and civil society organizations, and worked on the Sani Abacha/Nigeria, Jean-Claude Duvalier/Haiti cases, among others.


Before joining the Bank, Mark was competitively selected and appointed by the President to serve as a White House Fellow. As part of his nonpartisan fellowship, Mark served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense (focused on foreign policy issues and bilateral relations) and advisor to the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan.  In recognition of his contributions to the Department, including being a “valuable member of Secretary of Defense’s official delegations to Europe, Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, and to NATO Defense Ministerial meetings,” Mark was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service by Secretary Robert M. Gates, the highest non-career public service award in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.


Prior to his government service, Mark practiced law in the litigation, public policy, banking, and international trade practice groups at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and served as a prosecution attorney at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he was a member of the Slobodan Milosevic and General Radislav Krstic (Srebrenica) trial and investigative teams, and focused on mass executions and genocide in Bosnia.  As a U.S. Army officer, he has been attached to units on Capitol Hill and at the Defense Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.  Mark has also served in the Executive Office of the President, Office of the United States Trade Representative, where he worked on WTO Ministerial issues.


An adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and senior fellow at Georgetown’s Institute for Law, Science & Global Security, Mark has lectured at numerous academic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including Oxford University, Yale Law School, the NATO School, the U.S. Military Academy, the Hague Academy of International Law, the Baltic Defense College, and the Danish Center for Human Rights.


Mark has provided legal commentary to BBC, BBC World, CNN, CNN International, CBS, FOX News, NPR, CTV, CBC News, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera English,, Voice of America, the History News Network, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, the Washington Post, The Times of London, the Christian Science Monitor, the Guardian, Correio Braziliense, El País, De Groene Amsterdammer, and USA Today, and been published by the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Times, Foreign Policy, The New Republic,, theNorthwestern Journal of International Human Rights, the Georgetown Journal of International Law, the Durham Law Review, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Yale Journal of International Affairs, the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs,The Tax Lawyer, USA Today, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Toronto Star, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Cayman Financial Review, Legal Times, India Times, Arab News, Americas Quarterly, the Ventura County Star, Al Jazeera Online, and the Sudan Tribune.  He has also contributed to three books, The Responsibility to Protect: the promise of stopping mass atrocities in our time (Oxford), The Business Case for Sustainable Finance (Routledge), and The Encyclopedia of Transnational Crime and Justice (Sage).


In 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Mark to serve on their Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services & Finance Industries, as was he selected to serve as a designated representative to the Secretary of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council.  He serves on the Board of Directors of the White House Fellows Association & Foundation, the NCAC Fulbright Association, and the Humanity in Action Foundation.  He also serves on the Senior Advisory Board of Atlas Service Corps, the International Advisory Council of the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology, the Advisory Council and the High Level Piracy Working Group of the Public International Law & Policy Group, the Advisory Boards of Luke’s Wings, Ladies International, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award, and the Board of Counselors for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy.


Mark is a member of the Asset Recovery Experts Network, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, and the Atlantik-Brucke’s German-American Young Leaders Program, and is a Fellow in the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, the British American Project, the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, the U.S.-Spain Council’s Young Leaders Program, and the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ and the Council for the United States and Italy’s Young Leaders Forums.  He is listed in Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in International Humanitarian Law/International Criminal Law, was profiled as an "International Lawyer" in Esquire magazine, and was honored by the Development Executive Group (DEVEX) as an “international development renaissance man” and “Top 40 Under 40” in international development.  Mark was awarded the inaugural Frank Wheat Award for his leadership and dedication to pro bono and community service and the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and has worked, studied and traveled in over 80 countries.


After attending public schools in California, Mark studied business, theology and government at Georgetown University while on an Army ROTC scholarship, and received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.  He holds a Certificate in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law and conducted post-doctorate research at Universiteit Leiden as a NAF-Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands.  Mark is a member of the Bars of California, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


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