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April 18, 2007

Claire Duggan: (202) 994-0616;
Matt Lindsay: (202) 994-1423;


GW Board of Trustees Chairman with Rich History of Public Service to Speak at Alma Mater, May 20, 2007

WASHINGTON--Amb. Charles T. Manatt, class of 1962 and chairman of the GW Board of Trustees, will address the class of 2007 at The George Washington University Law School's Diploma Ceremony on Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. at GW's Charles E. Smith Athletic Center. The ceremony follows the University's Sunday morning Commencement on the National Mall.

"We are honored to have Ambassador Manatt address the class of 2007 at this year's diploma ceremony and have him speak about the importance of the legal education that this class has just received," said Law School Dean Frederick M. Lawrence. "In addition to working tirelessly for his country, Manatt has given so much to GW University - as an active and generous alumnus, Board of Trustees member, and board chair - and we're lucky to call him our friend."

Extremely active in the political world, Manatt chaired the Democratic National Committee from 1981 to 1985 and co-chaired the 1992 Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. His involvement in politics during his GW Law School days included serving as national college chairman of the Young Democrats and working on John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign.

"GW's central location presented me with the unique opportunity to get involved in politics and public policy, and gave me the fundamental chance to work at the center of student causes I believed in, such as the Civil Rights movement and the Peace Corps," Manatt said of his time as a GW Law student.

Manatt is the founding partner and chairman of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, which he formed in 1965 with Law School classmate Thomas J. Phelps, J.D. '63, to provide legal services to the financial services industry and corporate America. In 2002, Manatt founded the firm's international consulting subsidiary, Manatt Jones Global Strategies, with Amb. James Jones. He also is the founder of the First Los Angeles Bank.

Strongly committed to public service, Manatt was the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 1999 to 2001, and also is a founder of the National Endowment for Democracy. He served as the founding chairman of the National Democratic Institute and as chairman of the International Foundation for Election Systems. He serves on the boards of the Wesley Foundation, the National Legal Center for Public Interest, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Meridian House, and FedEx Corp. Manatt joined the University's board in 1980, held various leadership roles during his tenure, and will have served six years as its chairman (2001-2007).

In 1962, Manatt received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where he was on the editorial board of The George Washington Law Review. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State College (1958) and was recently named one of the college's 150 visionaries in celebration of its 150th anniversary. He is admitted to practice law in the state of California, the District of Columbia, and before the United States Supreme Court.

Established in 1865, The George Washington University Law School is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools, the Law School enrolls approximately 1,800 students each year. The school was ranked 22nd in the nation in the most recent "America's Best Graduate Schools" edition U.S. News & World Report. Among law specialties, the intellectual property law program was named the country's third best program, the international law program was ranked ninth, and the environmental law program was ranked 12th in the country.

Media interested in covering the GW Law School Diploma Ceremony should
contact Claire Duggan at (202) 994-0616 or Matt Lindsay at (202) 994-1423.
For more information about the Law School Diploma Ceremony, visit
For more news about GW, visit the GW News Center at

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