Richard Verma is a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson and outside Counselor to the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, where he advises its South Asia practice and supports ASG’s global trade, regulatory and policy capabilities. He is also a Senior National Security Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Mr. Verma most recently served in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs. In that capacity, he was Secretary Clinton’s principal advisor on congressional affairs and successfully led the department through a number of key budget and policy-related battles. He played a lead role in securing the Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty with Russia; guided nearly 200 Presidential nominees through the Senate confirmation process; and oversaw and managed the Administration’s response to several major congressional investigations.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Verma served as Senior National Security Advisor to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. He shaped many consequential legislative initiatives in the post-9/11 era involving counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence reform matters.
Mr. Verma has successfully helped his clients tackle a range of legal and policy issues in foreign jurisdictions. He also has considerable experience with U.S. trade sanctions and export controls, and was the lead U.S. Administration negotiator handling the development and passage of the most recent set of comprehensive sanctions against Iran. Mr. Verma also has considerable experience responding to government investigations and handling crisis situations impacting his clients.
Mr. Verma has served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps from 1994-1998. His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He also worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for the late Congressman John P. Murtha and served as a Country Director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Verma is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Law, and was appointed to the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. He is also on the boards of the National Democratic Institute and Human Rights First.
Mr. Verma holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center, American University’s Washington College of Law, and Lehigh University.