Donald T. Bliss

Ambassador Donald T. Bliss (retired) was the Permanent Representative of the United States on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), located in Montreal, Canada from 2006-2009. The Council functions as a board of directors for ICAO, an organization of 190 Contracting States that fosters and facilitates international air travel and establishes standards and recommended practices in the areas of safety, security and the environment. He is currently President and CEO of Hale & Northam LLC, a consulting and publishing firm, and Of Counsel in the Washington D.C. office of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, a law firm.

Prior to assuming this post, Ambassador Bliss was Chair of the Aviation/Transportation Practice Group of O'Melveny & Myers LLP with offices in Washington, DC, California, New York, Europe, Japan and China. As an attorney, he represented airlines, airports, governments, trade associations, and manufacturers on various policy, regulatory, legislative and other strategic issues affecting aviation. He argued cases before the federal and state courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and other federal appellate courts, and he has served as a federal court-appointed Special Master on transportation issues.

Prior to joining the law firm in 1977, Ambassador Bliss served as Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Transportation under Secretary William T. Coleman, Jr. during the Administration of President Ford. Prior to that he served as the first Executive Secretary to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Elliot L. Richardson (1969-1973). He also served as Executive Secretary to the Agency for International Development in the Department of State from 1974-75.

From 1999-2001, Ambassador Bliss served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Air and Space Law Forum. He previously served as Chair of the Federal Bar Association's Transportation Law Section, was Co-Chair of the District of Columbia Bar Association's Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section, and President of the Harvard Law School Association of D.C. He is the author of a book, The Law of Airline-Customer Relations: Stability, Security, Safety and Service, Hale & Northam LLC (April 2002), and numerous articles on transportation, including "A Challenge to U.S. Aviation Leadership-Launching the New Era of Global Aviation," Ripon Forum (July 1991); "Economic Deregulation and Safety - Are They Compatible?" 36 Federal Bar Journal 71 (Feb. 1989); "Overseeing Competition in the Airline Industry: Will the Transfer to Justice Make a Difference?" (with Jacob Lewis) 34 Federal Bar Journal 7 (Sep. 1987); "Another Concorde Legend," 15 Air and Space Lawyer, 2, at p. 23 (Fall 2000); "Drug Testing and Federal Employees: Lessons From the Transportation Experience," 35 Federal Bar Journal 5 (1988); and "Making Transportation Policy," Transportation U.S.A. (1976).

Ambassador Bliss received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1966 and his B.A. from Principia College in 1963.

Ambassadorial Post(s)

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), (2006 - 2009)

Areas of Expertise