C. Donald Johnson

C. Donald Johnson joined the University of Georgia School of Law in June 2004 as the Director of the Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy. In this capacity, he is responsible for the management and direction of the center's mission of increasing the understanding of global legal and policy issues through teaching, conferences, research, scholarship and international outreach programs. Prior to this role, Johnson was a partner at the law firm of Patton Boggs in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in the law related to international trade and investment, national security and foreign policy issues.

In 1998, he was nominated to the rank of Ambassador by President Bill Clinton in the Office of United States Trade Representative and for over two years served as chief textile negotiator. Among the significant negotiations concluded during Johnson's tenure in office were the U.S.-China WTO Accession Agreement and the U.S.-Cambodia Textile Agreement. The latter agreement, which Ambassador Johnson negotiated with the Cambodian Commerce Minister, is considered a landmark in that it included, for the first time, labor provisions linked to trade benefits.

From 1993-94, Ambassador Johnson served as the U.S. Congressman for the 10th district of Georgia. While in this position, he was a member of the House Armed Services and the Science, Space and Technology Committees and focused on national security and international economic policy. Ambassador Johnson was also selected to serve as a member of Speaker Tom Foley's Working Group on Policy. He was a delegate to the North Atlantic Assembly (NATO's legislative body) in Berlin and Copenhagen and monitored Russia's first parliamentary (Duma) election in Moscow in December 1993.

Ambassador Johnson previously served in the Georgia State Senate from 1987 to 1992, where he was chairman of the Appropriations Committee, vice-chairman of the Judiciary Committee and served as an assistant floor leader for Gov. Joe Frank Harris. He was the original author of major legislation enacted to reform the state budget process, sovereign immunity, the ethical standards of public officials and rural telecommunications.

His public service also includes four-years in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's Office (two years in Turkey) and serving as trade counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee (1973).

He holds a master of laws degree from the London School of Economics and earned his bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Georgia. He obtained a certificate in private and public international law from The Hague Academy of International Law in The Netherlands.

Ambassadorial Post(s)

Office of the United States Trade Representative, (1998 - 2000)

Areas of Expertise

  • Economic - Trade
  • Military - Policy
  • Multilateral - Policy