Friday, May 29, 2009

Officially In: John V. Roos to Tokyo

Residence of US Ambassador to Tokyo Source: State Department From the Secretary of State's Register of Culturally Significant Property
On May 27, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate John V. Roos to be Ambassador to Japan. Official bio below:

Mr. Roos serves as Chief Executive Officer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he has overseen and managed the global, technology-focused law firm since 2005. Mr. Roos has been a partner at the firm since 1988 and also served in a number of other senior leadership roles. Throughout his tenure, Mr. Roos helped lead the firm during the various waves of innovation in Silicon Valley, from the growth of software and communications to the Internet Age, the emergence of biotechnology to the present focus on clean technology and renewable energy. He has been a leader in cultivating the firm's diversity initiatives, which recently resulted in its number one ranking in the country. Mr. Roos has been responsible for building consensus across all geographies and practice disciplines to develop, communicate, and execute on strategic priorities and growth initiatives for the business. Mr. Roos is a Member of the Dean's Advisory Council at Stanford Law School and at the Stanford School of Education. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

* * * on John V. Roos: “This lawyer has bundled at least $500,000 to Obama's presidential campaign. He and his wife have also contributed at least $77,500 to Democrats since the 1992 election cycle, including $6,900 to Obama. Roos is the CEO of the technology-oriented law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and has been nominated to be ambassador to Japan.”

Four of the last five ambassadors who served in Japan were political appointees, including Walter Mondale and Howard Baker, Jr. The last career diplomat to serve as US Ambassador to Tokyo was Michael Armacost (May 1989-July 1993). If confirmed, Mr. Roos will succeed Thomas Schieffer (one of only three non-career appointees to serve in both the first and second terms of President George W. Bush's Administration as an Ambassador). Mr. Roos will reside at the official residence of the US Ambassador in Japan, at one time called “Hoover’s Folly” -- the chancery and the residence with imported Georgia walnut wall panels and Vermont marble flooring, were completed during The Depression at a cost of $1.25 million dollars. During World War II the compound was under the protection of the Swiss government. And was apparently also called “The Big House,” from 1945 to 1951 during General Douglas MacArthur’s time.

Related Post: White House Rolls Out First Dozen Ambassadors

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1 comment:

Yvonne@BCI said...

New conditions call for new solutions.

In times like these when the old standards are not working (and that is putting it mildly), it is time to create something new.

How can a successful lawyer who has worked at and overseen one of the most successful law firms in the country and has worked with “serial entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, top university innovators and successful venture accelerators, as well as the large firms, opinion makers, journalists and others with whom they interact”, be anything but a good choice? Be anything but good for Japan-US business and relations?

The ‘new mindset’ calls for him. The ‘new Japan’ calls for him. The Japan-U.S. business community calls for him. I call for him.

Yvonne Burton