Alan Larson

Alan P. Larson

Senior International Policy Advisor
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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5756


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Alan Larson provides clients with strategic advice, counseling and representation at the intersection of international business and public policy. A Ph.D. economist, decorated diplomat and non-lawyer, Mr. Larson advises clients on high stakes international challenges. His trouble shooting takes him to all parts of the world. His practice encompasses international investment and acquisitions; sanctions and trade compliance; international energy transactions, international aviation and international trade. He has helped win approval of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) for some of the highest profile foreign investments in the United States, including several by state-owned companies and sovereign wealth funds. Mr. Larson helps Covington’s management team formulate and implement its international strategy. He is a member of the Board of Counselors of McLarty Associates. He is Chairman of Transparency International/USA and a Board Member of Helping Children Worldwide. He previously served in the State Department two top economic policy jobs, as Under Secretary of State for Economics and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, as well as Ambassador to OECD. He is a Career Ambassador, the State Department’s highest honor.

Representative Matters

  • Provides strategic advice to a young international oil company active in frontier regions.
  • Provides strategic advice to a U.S. company facing a criminal investigation in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Resolved several high value international investment disputes in the energy sector.
  • Advised CEOs and Boards of Directors on sanctions compliance issues regarding Iran and Libya.
  • Advised over a dozen firms on Iran sanctions issues and represented several before U.S. government agencies.
  • Advised dozens of firms on Russia sanctions issues.
  • Represented in the CFIUS process many firms, including SOEs and sovereign wealth funds, that successfully acquired sensitive assets in the U.S.
  • Traveled to a Central Asian capital to represent before the government the interests an oil company and two incarcerated employees.
  • Advised firms on sanctions compliance and conflicting oil claims in Southern Sudan, Burma and Cuba.
  • Advised firms on regulatory issues and policy issues in China and India.
  • Represented, before the President and Prime Minister and of Pakistan, companies seeking stronger intellectual property rights protection.
  • Advises on international legal cooperation issues, including extradition and mutual legal assistance.
  • Advised an Indonesian firm on international policy issues and a U.S. firm on an Indonesian investigation.
  • Won approval of an acquisition of a U.S. agro-business firm by and Japanese investor.

Previous Experience

  • Department of State, Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, Under Secretary of State (1999-2005)
  • Department of State, Economic and Business Affairs, Assistant Secretary of State (1996-1999)
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ambassador (1990-1993)

Honors and Rankings

  • Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, Department of State (2005)
  • Career Ambassador, U.S. Department of State (2004)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Transparency International/USA, Chairman of the Board
  • Helping Children Worldwide, Board Member
  • McLarty Associates, Board of Counselors
  • Co-Chaired private sector advisory panels for Obama Administration on bilateral investment treaties and corporate social responsibility guidelines

Publications and Speeches

Recent Congressional Testimonies

  • Testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on Strengthening the Rule of Law for U.S. Business in Russia, by Alan Larson, March 15, 2012.
  • Testimony before the House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade of the House Financial Services Committee on Multilateral Development Banks Support U.S. National Security Objectives, by Alan Larson, September 15, 2011.
  • Testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Trade on the model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), by Alan Larson, May 14, 2009.
  • Testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Investments and Acquisitions in the United States by Government Entities, by Alan Larson, November 14, 2007.
  • Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by Alan Larson, June 21, 2006.
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