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Tom Susman Presented with Lifetime Achievement Award



Fairfax, VA , The National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE) is please to announce that Tom Susman, Strategic Advisor at the American Bar Association has been selected as the distinguished recipient of the organization's first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious accolade recognizes Mr. Susman's outstanding contributions to the field of lobbying and ethics over his illustrious career.


NILE recently announced the recipients of its 2023 Top Lobbyist award. This award was presented to those who stood out this year, not only for the professional work they do, but for their service to their local community. During our 2023 Top Lobbyist Reception in Washington, D.C. last night, NILE presented Tom Susman with the award in front of friends and colleagues.


Tom, a luminary in the realm of government relations and ethics, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and public service. His extensive experience, coupled with a steadfast dedication to ethical lobbying practices, has set a benchmark for excellence in the profession.


“Tom is the epitome of what a lobbyist is – a person who believes in good government; someone who gives a voice to the people; someone who believes government and lobbying should be open and transparent; and above all, someone committed to upholding ethical standards. His remarkable career exemplifies the ideals of the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics.” stated Jocelyn Hong, NILE President.


“This is an exciting day for me personally, as Tom Susman is the lobbyist, I strive to be each day. I owe Tom Susman a lot. When I first started no one knew who I was and Tom was a household name, yet he always treated me as an equal. Tom has done so much for this profession, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Today we get to repay him with this award,” stated Paul Miller, NILE Board Chair.


The NILE Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of lobbying and ethics. Mr. Susman's lasting impact on the profession is unparalleled and we congratulate him on his outstanding achievements.


More about the achievements of Tom Susman


Thomas M. Susman became the Strategic Advisor for the Governmental Affairs Office of the American Bar Association in September 2018 after he retired as the Director of the Governmental Affairs Office and Associate Executive Director, a position he held since May 2008. Prior to joining the ABA in 2008, he was a partner in the Washington Office of Ropes & Gray LLP for 27 years. There his work included counseling, litigation, and lobbying on a wide range of regulatory, antitrust, lobbying, ethics, and information law issues. Before joining Ropes & Gray, Tom served on Capitol Hill for over 11 years. He was Chief Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure and General Counsel to the Antitrust Subcommittee and to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to that, he served in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.


Tom is a recognized expert and innovative thought-leader who works hard to advance the interests of the Washington lobbying community through teaching, writing, compliance training, and actively participating in NILE. As mentioned earlier, Tom was the founding editor and a major contributor to the first edition of the ABA Lobbying Manual and is currently working to produce the sixth edition of this valuable volume. He also initiated the development and publication of All Politics Is Local, a guide produced in collaboration with state bar leaders to help bar organizations lobby on issues related to access to justice.


Tom’s journey to becoming a valued expert on diverse lobbying issues started when he worked on Capitol Hill in the 1970s on lobbying reform legislation. He was involved in the development of the Lobbying Disclosure Act and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act. Tom has remained engaged on behalf of the lobbying community in efforts to update these laws, as well as the Foreign Agents Registration Act, ever since.


Tom’s influence not only involves domestic lobbying issues, but also international ones. He has advised the Senate Ethics and Transparency Committee in Chile, Parliamentary leadership in the Czech Republic, and numerous other international groups visiting the United States to study our processes so they can learn more about how best to influence their government’s policymaking.


He is a graduate of Yale University and received his J.D. from the University of Texas Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. In 2011 he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Texas Law School.


Tom lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Susan Braden, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. His four children and ten grandchildren are dispersed throughout the country.


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About NILE

The National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics is a leading non-partisan organization committed to fostering ethical lobbying practices and promoting the highest standards of professionalism in the lobbying profession. NILE serves as a resource for lobbying professionals, offering training, education, and best practices to ensure the profession maintains its integrity and contributes positively to the democratic process. NILE is the home of the Public Policy Certificate, the gold standard for continuing education for lobbyists.

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