David Adelman

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David Adelman
U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David Adelman official photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to Singapore
In office
April 29, 2010 – September 4, 2013
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Patricia Herbold
Succeeded by Kirk Wagar
Member of the Georgia Senate
from the 42nd district
In office
January 2003 – April 2010
Preceded by Mike Polak
Succeeded by Jason Carter
Personal details
Born (1964-05-24) May 24, 1964 (age 51)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Caroline Adelman
Children 3
Alma mater University of Georgia
Emory University
Georgia State University
Religion Judaism

David I. Adelman was the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 2010 to 2013. He is currently a partner at Reed Smith LLP, working out of the firm's New York office and regularly traveling to the firm's offices in Asia. In 2013 David was appointed by the Singapore government to the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Capital Markets Committee and by the Hong Kong government to the Executive Board of the Treasury Markets Association. David is also a member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, to whch he was elected in 2013, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He was formerly a partner at the law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan LLP. Adelman served in the Georgia State Senate from 2002 to 2010 before being nominated by President Barack Obama. Since being confirmed by the United States Senate, Ambassador Adelman has emerged as a leading champion of American businesses in Asia.

Early life and education[edit]

David Adelman was born in New York City on May 24, 1964. He attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. He received his ABJ from the University of Georgia in 1986, a JD from Emory University in 1989 and an MPA from Georgia State University in 1995.

Legal career and State Senate[edit]

First elected in 2002, Adelman was recognized as one of the strongest lawyers in the legislature. Adelman co-authored Georgia's post-conviction DNA testing law in 2003.[1] After the 2004 court ordered redistricting of Georgia's legislative districts, Adelman was re-elected to the newly configured 42nd District and was chosen by his colleagues to be minority whip. He authored the Family Violence Shelter Protection Act of 2004 and was a champion of promoting transparency in government and public-private partnerships authoring numerous open meetings and open records legislation. He was recognized as a moderate dealmaker who supported business interests as well as progressive causes. Each year he authored and passed legislation which streamlined Georgia's corporate code. Following the 2006 election, Adelman became chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs Committee and was one of the only Democrats to chair a committee in the heavily Republican Georgia legislature.[2]

As a senator, Adelman was recognized by the Partnership Against Domestic Violence with its Hearts of Hope Award and the Women's Resource Center for his accomplishments combating domestic violence.[3] Adelman's leadership on climate change issues was recognized when he was invited by the government of Great Britain to serve as an American delegate to a climate change program in London. He led a trade mission of business leaders to Israel seeking high tech investment. Adelman was selected as Legislator of the Year in 2007 by Georgia Bio The Life Sciences Partnership for his leadership on stem cell research. He received awards from the Georgia Chapter of the National Federation for the Blind, the League of Conservation Voters, Young Democrats of Georgia, Georgia Equality and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to becoming U.S. ambassador, Adelman an expert on energy and infrastructure investment laws, was an equity partner in the law firm of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP for more than ten years. He became one of the youngest people to ever be made an equity partner at the firm, which, in 2010, paid each such partner on average in excess of $1 million.[4] He served on numerous State Bar of Georgia Committees and was leader in the effort to provide pro bono services to disabled veterans through the national Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program.

Involvement in politics[edit]

Adelman's endorsement was highly sought after in the first days of the 2008 presidential campaign. He was known as a moderate voice who could build support across political constituencies. He became an early supporter of then Senator Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency. Adelman also had longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton which continued into his time as U.S. Ambassador. Adelman and his wife Caroline campaigned vigorously for Obama in multiple state primaries.[2] Adelman became Obama's Campaign Chairman in Georgia and Caroline would later serve as the official spokesperson for Obama's Georgia general election campaign, [5] a role she had also filled for former President Bill Clinton's Georgia campaign. Adelman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. [6]

Ambassador to Singapore[edit]

In 2009, Adelman was nominated to serve as the United States Ambassador to Singapore by President Obama. He was confirmed on March 19, 2010.[2]

As ambassador, strengthening cultural and commercial ties between Singapore (and its neighbors in Southeast Asia) and the United States has been a top priority.[7]

A longtime champion of President Obama's National Export Initiative,[8] Adelman has aggressively promoted American exports to Asia, leading missions to Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and India made up of America's leading businesses.[9] Since the ambassador's arrival US direct foreign investment in Singapore is at an all-time high, having increased more than 20% to over $116 billion in cumulative investment in 2011.[10]

In 2011 he was recognized in the Wall Street Journal for his "heroic lobbying" in support of the APEC Business Travel Card, which would give American business travelers expedited visa processing rights at foreign embassies and access to immigration processing at international airports.[11]

In 2012, he led the first American business mission in history to Naypyidaw, the capital city of Myanmar. Later that year he was recognized with the Gold Standard Award for Diplomatic Engagement for his work promoting American exports.[12]

In August 2012, the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of State praised his leadership of the embassy in Singapore, citing American policy makers calling his regional approach to trade promotion "extremely innovative". The Inspector General praised Adelman for his efforts to promote investment from Asia into the United States and the establishment of the U.S. - Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue. The report notes that "[a]gency heads with regional perspectives told inspectors they considered the Ambassador one of the most effective and dynamic embassy executives in the field." The report further stated that "American staff gave the Ambassador very good marks in leadership and management capabilities, reporting that vision, coordination and problem solving are his greatest strengths." The report also describes Adelman's outreach to the local business community and institutions as "thoughtfully designed and well executed". Adelman's managerial techniques were also singled out, noting that even employees who spend much of their time outside Singapore demonstrated a firm grasp of the objectives and expectations of the ambassador and embassy's team. In 2013, Adelman was awarded the US State Department Superior Honer award for his diplomatic leadership. Also in 2013, he received the United States Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award granted by the US Navy to non-military personal. [13]

Family and personal life[edit]

He is married to Caroline Adelman and together they are raising three children, Oscar, Leah, and Avery.


  1. ^ Abkowitz, Alyssa, A Big Success and Small Setback for DNA Testing September 2004, Creative Loafing. Retrieved march 2011
  2. ^ a b c Tharpe, Jim, DeKalb lawmaker Confirmed as Singapore Ambassador March 2010, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 2011
  3. ^ Crossroads News [1] March 2010, Crossroads News. Retrieved March 2012
  4. ^ Hobbs, Merideth, Equity partners reap benefits of firms' 2010 revenue growth April 2011, Fulton Daily Report. Retrieved April 2012
  5. ^ McCaffrey, Shannon, Obama Campaign Pulls some Resources from Georgia September 2008, RealClearPolitics. Retrieved March 2011
  6. ^ Hopefuls Vie for SRSVote July 1996, Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved March 2011
  7. ^ Suryanarayana, P.S. U.S. Business Bullish on India, Says Envoy February 2011, The Hindu. Retrieved April 2012
  8. ^ Editorial How to boost U.S. Exports June 2010, Forbes.com editorial. Retrieved April 2012
  9. ^ MSN News American Business Delegation in India March 2011, MSN News. Retrieved April 2012>
  10. ^ "Official Bio". Singapore US Embassy Website. 
  11. ^ "Opinion: Let the Businessmen Out". WSJ. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Gold Standard Award for Diplomatic Engagement". PublicAffairsAsia. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "OIG Report Number ISP-I-12-36A, June 2012" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

Media related to David Adelman at Wikimedia Commons