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FORMER AMBASSADOR AND CONGRESSMAN TO HEAD UGA SCHOOL OF LAW’S DEAN RUSK CENTER

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Thursday, June 17, 2004

WRITER: Heidi Murphy, 706/542-5172, hmurphy@uga.edu CONTACT: Rebecca Hanner White, 706/542-7140, rhwhite@uga.edu C. Donald Johnson, 706/542-5135, johnsocd@uga.edu

FORMER AMBASSADOR AND CONGRESSMAN TO HEAD UGA SCHOOL OF LAW’S DEAN RUSK CENTER

ATHENS, Ga. – C. Donald Johnson, former ambassador and U.S. congressman, has joined the University of Georgia School of Law’s Dean Rusk Center as interim director. In this role, he will be responsible for the management of the center and will work to strengthen and enhance the center’s visibility and initiatives. The appointment was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia at its June meeting.

Georgia Law Interim Dean Rebecca H. White said she was delighted that someone of Johnson’s caliber was able to join the school to lead this very important unit. “In our increasingly global society, it is important that Georgia Law play a key role in not only interpreting but assisting in the development of international law. We believe that Don’s experience and connections will result in an expansion of the center’s academic offerings and outreach activities,” she said.

Johnson has had a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. Most recently, he was vice-chairman of government relations and public policy for Fleishman-Hillard Government Relations, Inc., in Washington, D.C. There, Johnson specialized in international trade and investment policy, national security and foreign policy and assisted such clients as the government of Hong Kong with bilateral trade, human rights, constitutional reform and domestic security law issues. He also focused on international legal matters as a partner at the law firm of Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C.

Johnson’s level of public service is as impressive as his private sector activities. In 1998, he was nominated to the rank of ambassador by President Bill Clinton, where he served for over two years as chief textile negotiator and principal advisor to both the president and the U.S. Trade Representative on all textile and apparel trade matters. In 1993-94, he served as a U.S. representative for the 10th district of Georgia. While in this position, he was a member of the House Armed Services and the Space, Science and Technology committees. Johnson also served in the Georgia State Senate from 1987 to 1992, where he was chairman of the Appropriations Committee and served as an assistant floor leader for Gov. Joe Frank Harris. In addition, his public service includes a four-year stint at the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Office and serving as trade counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.

Johnson holds bachelor’s and law degrees from UGA, where he served as articles editor for the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law during law school. He obtained a certificate in private and public international law from The Hague Academy of International Law in The Netherlands and attended the London School of Economics where he earned his Master of Laws.

The Rusk Center was established in 1977 to expand the law school’s focus on research, teaching and service in international law. A former secretary of state, the late Dean Rusk was the inspiration behind the center’s creation. It was Rusk’s profound belief that through education, international cooperation could be a conduit of maintaining peace, building democratic institutions and raising standards of living throughout the world. Interestingly, Johnson was one of Rusk’s first law students at the university during the early 1970s.

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