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Washington, DC – January 12, 2021 – Jenner & Block is pleased to announce that international trade and sanctions lawyer Rachel K. Alpert has joined the firm’s Washington, DC office. Bringing a wealth of experience in economic sanctions, export controls, and international legal issues from her seven years in the United States Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser, Ms. Alpert joins as a partner in the firm’s Investigations, Compliance, and Defense Practice.
“Rachel enhances our ability to serve domestic and international clients on a range of challenging issues, including counseling companies on trade sanctions compliance and related internal- and government-facing investigations,” said Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg, Jenner & Block’s co-managing partners. “Just as important, she shares the firm’s values of delivering excellence through collaboration, to building diverse, inclusive teams, and to serving our communities with a commitment to pro bono work.”
Drawing on her State Department experience advising policy-makers at all levels on legal issues affecting US relations with countries in the Western Hemisphere, Ms. Alpert supports organizations in the oil and gas, communications, travel, and other industries on legal issues involving export controls and US sanctions laws and regulations under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations. She also advises companies and investors on business human rights and supply chain accountability and on national security reviews of foreign investments in the United States by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
“Rachel’s arrival makes an immediate impact on our capabilities in these areas and adds tremendous value for our clients, who now more than ever require the type of specialized legal insight she brings for companies operating in the international marketplace,” said David Bitkower, co-chair of the firm’s Investigations, Compliance, and Defense Practice. “Her practice also complements the work of other Jenner & Block lawyers who represent clients in matters involving international human rights and national security.”
While at the State Department, Ms. Alpert collaborated with agencies throughout the US government on legal issues related to the Venezuela sanctions program, humanitarian assistance, and recognition. Serving as lead attorney for Cuba matters at the State Department, Ms. Alpert developed specific knowledge of US government sanctions and policy toward Cuba, serving on bilateral delegations and advising on Cuba-related issues from the re-establishment of US diplomatic relations with the country in 2015 through the 2019 end of the suspension of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996.
While at the State Department, Ms. Alpert also advised on the implementation of approximately $2 billion in US foreign assistance resources to prevent trafficking in persons and end modern slavery, to combat transnational crime, promote democracy, and to provide urgent humanitarian assistance throughout the world. She reviewed and drafted legislative text, and prepared senior leaders for Congressional testimony. Ms. Alpert started her State Department career in the employment law section, representing the State Department in employment litigation and advising department bureaus and principals on employment law issues within the Department and at US embassies around the globe.
“I’m excited to join Jenner & Block to develop this trade controls, national security, and human rights practice and to work in concert with the firm’s other lawyers to enhance the firm’s offerings to clients,” said Ms. Alpert. “I’m also looking forward to joining a firm with values that align so closely to mine, specifically its deep dedication to pro bono work and its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal industry.”
Ms. Alpert joins from Latham & Watkins, where she regularly advised companies on trade controls compliance and CFIUS matters following her State Department service.
Prior to her government service, Ms. Alpert received the Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship allowing her to work in Syria as research scholar. In Syria, she analyzed the legal framework for international private voluntary organizations aiding Iraqi refugees.
Ms. Alpert graduated from Yale University cum laude, where she received a Richard U. Light fellowship to study Mandarin Chinese at Princeton in Beijing. She also earned her master’s degree from Tel Aviv University magna cum laude and received her JD from Harvard Law School, having received the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Fellowship.