Washington, DC:
1625 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006


Theodore W. Kassinger


Theodore Kassinger is a partner in O’Melveny’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Integrated Legal Strategies Practice. Ted counsels US and foreign clients engaged in transnational business transactions, with an emphasis on international trade and investment regulatory matters. Calling on his more than 30 years of private practice and government experience, he also provides public affairs advocacy and strategic counseling advice involving a wide range of policy issues.

Ted joined the firm after serving as the Deputy Secretary (2004-2005) and General Counsel (2001-2004) of the US Department of Commerce.  As Deputy Secretary, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department's approximately $6.2 billion budget, 13 operating units, and 39,000 employees.  The Department’s varied missions include promoting US exports, administering unfair trade laws, and negotiating and enforcing international trade agreements; serving as effective stewards of the nation’s ocean, coastal, and living marine resources; formulating technology and telecommunications policy and administering the federal radio frequency spectrum; administering the patent and trademark system; and developing and applying technologies, measurements, and standards. As the second-ranking Department official, Ted oversaw programmatic development and implementation of those missions and represented the Department in senior policymaking councils of the Administration and before Congress.

As General Counsel, Ted served as the Department’s chief legal and ethics officer.  His responsibilities included determining legal positions taken by the Department in significant litigation, administrative, legislative, and policy matters; supervision of the Department’s ethics program; and management of the nearly 300 lawyers who advise and represent the Department on legal and ethics matters. Among other responsibilities, he co-chaired the Commercial Law Working Group of the United States -- China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade.

Upon the conclusion of his tenure at the Commerce Department, Ted received the Secretary of Commerce’s William C. Redfield Award, the Department’s highest honor.

From 1985 to 2001, Ted practiced law with another major international law firm, following earlier service as an attorney with the US Senate Committee on Finance, the U.S. Department of State, and the US International Trade Commission.

Ted is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Advisers to the Dean Rusk Center for International, Comparative, and Graduate Legal Studies.

Ted has been recognized by such publications as Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Euromoney, and Washingtonian as a leading practitioner in the areas of international trade and national security law.

Professional Activities

Member, Council on Foreign Relations, Board of Advisors of the Dean Rusk Center for International, Comparative and Graduate Legal Studies at the University of Georgia School of Law
Author, "Antidumping Duty Investigations," Law and Practice of U.S. International Trade Regulation (1987, 1989); and chapters on GATT Antidumping, Procurement, Standards, and Subsidies Codes in Basic Documents of International Economic Law (CCH International and Westlaw 1990)
Co-Author, "Top Ten Political Law Compliance Issues for the 2012 Election," Corporate Counsel (2011); "Antidumping Duty Investigations," Law and Practice of United States International Trade Regulation, Oceana Publications (1996 update); "Commercial Law Reform Issues in the Reconstruction of Iraq," 33 Ga. J. Int'l & Comp. L. J. 217 (2004)
Honors, Recognized as one of The World's Leading Lawyers for Business in Chambers Global (2008-2013) and Chambers USA (2008-2015); named by the University of Georgia School of Law as its 2006 Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Scholar; recommended in The Guide to the World's Leading International Trade Lawyers (2010); recognized by Legal 500 (2015)

University of Georgia, J.D., 1978: cum laude; Notes Editor, Georgia Law Review

University of Georgia, B.L.A., 1975: Gridiron Secret Society; Blue Key Honor Society; Omicron Delta Kappa

District of Columbia; Georgia

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Setting the Path Forward to Lift International Economic Sanctions (International Trade)

Lausanne Nuclear Framework Agreement with Iran: A Path is Set for Congressional Review, but Key Substantive Questions Remain (International Trade)

U.S. International Economic Sanctions: Ending 2014 With a Bang (International Trade)

DC Circuit Grants SEC’s Petition for Review of SEC Conflict Mineral Ruling

U.S. Treasury Department Imposes Additional Sanctions on Russian Banks, Energy, and Arms Firms (International Trade)

The United States and the European Union Target Additional Russian Individuals and Entities in Response to Escalating Ukraine Crisis (International Trade)

New Sanctions Arising from Ukrainian Crisis Are Limited to Certain Individuals (International Trade)

The Interim Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program: Implications for Iran Sanctions (International Trade)

U.S. Court’s Final Rejection of Sany’s Claims: Lessons for Chinese Companies Looking to Invest in the United States (Investing in the United States)

New Executive Order Extends Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Iran Sanctions (International Trade)

Broad New Legislation Further Expands Economic Sanctions Against Iran and Syria (International Trade)

U.S. Suspends Economic Sanctions Against Burma (International Trade)

New Iran and Syria Sanctions Pose Compliance Challenges for both U.S. and non-U.S. Businesses (International Trade)

Burma/Myanmar Opens for Business from the EU (International Trade)

D.C. District Court Upholds Federal Contractor Pay-to-Play Restriction (Public Policy and Political Strategy)

The United States Broadens Economic Sanctions Targeting Iran in Parallel to United Kingdom and Canadian Measures (International Trade) 

Top Ten Political Law Compliance Issues for the 2012 Election (Public Policy and Political Strategy)

Top Ten Political Law Compliance Issues for the 2012 Election (Corporate Counsel)

Libya Sanctions Update: European Council Further Unwinds Sanctions; U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control Issues Amended General License (International Trade)

The United Nations and U.S. Government Substantially Ease Libyan Economic Sanctions (International Trade)

New Economic Sanctions Targeting Libya Issued by the United States Will Have a Significant Impact on U.S. and International Business Interests (International Trade)

China Establishes Mechanism for National Security Reviews of Foreign Investments (China Practice)

Location, Location, Location: Observations on CFIUS Opposition to Investment by Chinese Mining Company in Firstgold Corporation (International Trade Alert)

Treasury Department Issues Final Rule Updating CFIUS Regulations and Guidance on CFIUS National Security Assessments (International Trade Alert)

National Defense Authorization Act Places Certain Foreign Investments and Trade at Risk

Closing the CNOOC and Dubai Ports World Debate: The Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007
Effect of the Libyan Claims Resolution Act on Private Corporations (International Trade Alert)