Ambassador Keith M. Harper is a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. From 2014 to 2017, he served as the United States Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Ambassador Harper serves as a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, and the American Bar Association has appointed him as Special Advisor to the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative.
Throughout his legal career, Ambassador Harper has represented Indian tribes and individual Indians. He served as Class Counsel representing a class of 500,000 individual Indians in the landmark trust funds lawsuit, Cobell v. Salazar, which settled for $3.4 billion in 2009. In his law practice, Ambassador Harper continues to litigate on behalf of Indian tribes. He also assists companies more effectively engage with the United Nations.
Ambassador Harper served as a Chair for Native American policy in the 2008 Obama For America presidential campaign and subsequently on President Obama’s transition team. He was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in 2010. He has taught Federal Indian Law as an adjunct professor at Catholic University Columbus School of Law and American University Washington College of Law. Ambassador Harper began service as an At-Large member of the Democratic National Committee in October 2017.
Ambassador Harper serves on the Board of the following non-profit organizations: American Constitution Society, Defenders of Wildlife, Artistic Freedom Initiative, and the United Nations Association – National Capitol Area. Ambassador Harper is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an At-Large appointment to the Democratic National Committee.
Ambassador Harper was selected as one of the 500 best lawyers in America (LawDragon500) and one of the fifty most influential minority lawyers (National Law Journal). He graduated from University of California, Berkeley and received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Ambassador Harper served as law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.