Rufus H. Yerxa has served as Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2002.
Mr. Yerxa has an extensive record as a trade negotiator, diplomat and lawyer. He served as a Presidential appointee in the Office of the United States Trade Representative USTR during both Democratic and Republican administrations, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT (the predecessor organization to the WTO) and subsequently as the Deputy USTR in Washington. In these two positions he played a major role in negotiating and securing Congressional approval of both the Uruguay Round/WTO agreement and the NAFTA accord. Prior to these appointments he was with the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade.
After leaving U.S. government service in 1995, Mr. Yerxa was engaged in private law practice. He was a resident partner in the Brussels office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Field, where his practice focused on international trade matters and European regulatory affairs. He later served as Chief European Counsel for Monsanto.
Mr. Yerxa is a native of Washington State and grew up in the Seattle area. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Washington, his law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law and an LLB in international law from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. Mr. Yerxa is married to Barbara J. McSweeny. They have two children. Gavin (25) and Haley (22).
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