International Counsel - Salli Swartz - Democrats Abroad

Name:                               Salli Swartz

Gender:                             Female

Candidate:                         International Legal Counsel

Member since:                   2016

Country/Countries             France


After being a legal service attorney in rural Pennsylvania from 1977 to 1979, I moved to Paris where I have been practicing international business law in 2 very well known international firms  and started my own firm with several French partners in 1988. I am a former chair of the ABA International Section, a member of the ABA Human Rights Committee and an ABA representative to the International Legal Assistance Consortium. I have spent many years training government officials in Africa on compliance issues such as corruption and negotiations of long term extractive contracts. I am a founder of the anti-trafficking program of the International Office of Migration (IRIS) and give my time as a pro bono attorney to a number of human rights and business and corporate social responsibility associations.


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Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.

I have been elected to two terms as counsel for DAF as well as Vice-Chair. I am a former Co-Chair of the Global Women's Caucus and have been active in organizing events for DAF and for the GWC.

Why are you running for this office?

I ran in 2016 but was blindsided by a slate of officers which Julia Bryan had created, leaving me to run outside that slate. Despite this, I retained 25% of the vote. I am running again this time without her support because I think it is time that there is a grownup on the Executive Committee who has real life experience in advising clients on complex legal and political issues. And importantly, I think it is high time that we had a woman legal counsel.

How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA's success? 

I have been the chair of an organization (ABA SIL) which has thousands of members in over 90 countries, itself a bigger part of the ABA, which has over 400,000 members. I have excellent speaking and writing skills as well as management skills which I have honed over the course of over 30 years both as a partner in a large law firm and as a founding partner of my own firm. I am conscious of the role of volunteers and the need to motivate them and keep them motivated. I am an excellent organizer and skillful in encouraging people's talents while avoiding them feeling as unappreciated.

Are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address, should you be elected?

I would like to address what I perceive as less than performant legal advice to the ExeCom and more generally to the Country Committees in need of legal orientation and advice. I see issues in data protection, moral and legal sexual harassment, drafting of clear and precise guidelines and their dissemination and more generally the clear direction on legal matters to our members.

What are the three pressing political issues that you would work to include in the DA 2020 platform and why?

Residency based taxation, Getting the ERA passed, Medicaid for all, Reducing the cost of higher education, Protection of women's health choices.

How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?

We need to focus on getting out the word on who we are, what we stand for, and why it is important to vote for Democrats. We need to speak with one voice which is coherent, intelligent, and realistic.