Tom McDonald


Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1664
F +1.202.861.1783


As the leader of the firm’s International Government Policy team, Ambassador Tom McDonald concentrates his practice on governmental policy, both in Washington and internationally, as well as international law and arbitration. He maintains a substantial Capitol Hill lobbying practice on behalf of leading manufacturers, the financial services industry and trade associations, as well as an active state lobbying practice in a number of states, including New York, California, Illinois, Maryland, Iowa and Minnesota, as well as the city of Chicago, where he represents major manufacturers, insurance companies and trade associations. He also handles regulatory matters involving the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments, including FCPA and OFAC issues. Tom completed a six-year term on the firm’s Policy Committee at the end of 2015.

Tom has more than 35 years of experience representing U.S. multinational corporations; major South African, U.K. and Japanese companies; banks, mutual fund companies and insurance companies. Tom has a particular understanding of legal, political and economic issues of Africa, Asia (including South Asia), the Middle East, Latin America, Cuba and Eastern Europe. On the international scene, Tom regularly negotiates the successful resolution of legal matters and other disputes for U.S. multinationals and major South African companies in various countries. Tom has also been advising multinational clients on issues surrounding Iran sanctions for the past five years. He has forged strong contacts in the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and the Department of State. Several times a year, his practice takes him abroad to handle various matters in Africa, the United Kingdom, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Most recently, Tom has helped clients develop high-level relationships within the government of Cuba and navigate the regulatory issues U.S. multinationals face when trying to do business in Cuba, including working with the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce on Cuba issues.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent


  • American Bar Foundation: Fellow


  • Corporate Council on Africa: Board of Directors
  • Council of American Ambassadors: Board of Directors
  • Council on Foreign Relations: Member
  • International Foundation for Electoral Systems: Board Member
  • Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs: Member
  • University of Minnesota Law School Advisory Board: Member

Prior Positions

  • U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (1997 to 2001)
  • U.S. Presidential Delegations: Member


  • New York, 1996
  • District of Columbia, 1987
  • Ohio, 1981


  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 1979
  • B.A., The George Washington University, 1976