Covington & Burling Hires Ex-Obama Appointee Valenzuela for D.C. Office

Covington & Burling LLP, an 800- lawyer international firm, has hired former state department official Arturo Valenzuela to increase the firm’s presence in Latin America.

Valenzuela, appointed by President Barack Obama as assistant secretary of state for Western hemisphere affairs, will be a senior adviser in the firm’s Washington office, Covington & Burling said in a statement today.

Valenzuela served in the Obama administration from November 2009 until August 2011. He teaches government at Georgetown University and has experience advising Fortune 500 companies that have presences in Latin America. He served during both of Bill Clinton’s presidential terms, where he was responsible for implementing U.S. foreign policy for Mexico, Covington & Burling said.

Valenzuela will help clients “with their critical legal, strategic and policy matters in Latin America, and on working with companies in Latin America that have aspirations for expanding their businesses,” Timothy Hester, chair of the Washington-based firm’s management committee, said in a statement.

Some recent Covington & Burling work in South America include GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK)’s acquisition of Laboratorios Phoenix SA in Argentina and Citigroup Inc. (C)’s Chilean operation’s merger with Banco de Chile.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cullen Wheatley in New York at cwheatley2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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