If incumbent Francis Gurry is not selected to be Director General by the WIPO Coordination Committee that meets in Geneva in three weeks, there is then a significant chance that Panamanian diplomat Alfredo Suescum will be his successor.  Suescum has a long history of living, studying and working  in either the United States or Geneva. Suescum received his higher education entirely in this country with degrees from Wesleyan University (BA Comparative literature 1983); Columbia University (M.A. Comparative Literature 1984); and Tulane Law School (J.D. 1987).  He is a member of the bars of Louisiana and Maryland.

Suescum has a well earned reputation for looking after the rights of the downtrodden both at an individual level in legal representation in the United States and on the global stage as a Panamanian Ambassador.

An Idealist Looking after the Underdog:   Service on the local level is exemplified by his work for the well known group, “ACORN”, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (where he served as National Legal Counsel), as well as the Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”).     He served as appellate counsel inClaverie v. L.S.U. Medical Center, 553 So. 2d 482  (La. 1st Cir. 1989); and Association for Rights of Citizens, Inc. v. Parish of St. Bernard, 557 So. 2d 714 (La. 4th Cir. 1990).

In his role for the foreign ministry of his country and on the international stage of the Doha Round he stood his ground.  Following Doha, the American government apparently put pressure on Panama to remove him from his position as Ambassador:  “The tour of duty of Dr AlfredoSuescum, Geneva Ambassador of Panama, was not renewed when it ended in December 2001, a month after the Doha Conference.”J. Michael Finger, Trade negotiations and developing countries, World Trade Review (2007), 6: 1, 135-148 (quoting Fatoumata Jawara & Aileen Kwa, Behind the Scenes at the WTO: The Real World of International Trade Negotiations 167 (London: Zed Books updated edition, 2004)).

Regards,

Hal

 

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