Nelson Cunningham

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Nelson Cunningham is an American lawyer and political advisor. He spent much of his childhood in Latin America,[1] where he became fluent in Spanish.[1][2] He attended Yale College (class of 1980[3]) and Stanford Law School, where he edited the law review.[1][2] He subsequently worked for Hale and Dorr,[4] a private law firm in Boston.[5] In 1988,[citation needed] he was hired by Rudolph Giuliani to serve as federal prosecutor in New York.[1][6] In 1994-95,[4] he served as General Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee under then-chairman Joseph R. Biden.[1][6] He served on the White House staff under President Bill Clinton as Special Advisor to the President for Western Hemisphere affairs[1][6][7] and advised John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign on foreign policy and trade issues.[2] He was also a member of the Obama-Biden transition team after their electoral victory in 2008.[2]

In 1998,[4] he co-founded Kissinger McLarty Associates (KMA), where he served as managing partner, a role he continues at McLarty Associates, one of the two successors to KMA. McLarty is a Washington, D.C.-based strategic advisory firm that advises companies on government and strategic issues around the world.[2]

As of 2009, he serves on several boards, including the Institute of the Americas, the Business Council for International Understanding, the American Security Project, and the US-India Business Council. He also chairs the New Democratic Network's Latin America Policy Initiative and is a member of the Yale President's Council on International Activities and the United States Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Nelson Cunningham, Truman National Security Project. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Managing Political Risk 2009 - Speaker Biographies, The Fletcher School, Tufts University, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  3. ^ Paul Needham,, Yale Daily News, 2009-04-02. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  4. ^ a b c Cunningham, Nelson, (Center for Responsive Politics). Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  5. ^ Reputation, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (successor firm to Hale and Dorr). Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  6. ^ a b c The United States & Colombia: What comes next?, Center for American Progress; biographical note for a July 18, 2006 event. Retrieved 2010-08-27.
  7. ^ Cunningham, Nelson, (Center for Responsive Politics), retrieved 2010-08-27, gives the dates 1995-98, and erroneously refers to the position as "Senate Executive Office of the President Committee" rather than "Executive Office of the President". Cunningham's own page on LinkedIn, retrieved 2010-08-27, says he served as "Special Advisor to the President, Office of Special Envoy for the Americas" in 1997–1998