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Ambassador José H. Villarreal


BA 1975, Political Science

Senior Advisor, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

In July 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appointed José Villarreal U.S. Commissioner General for Expo 2010 Shanghai and in May 2010 President Barack Obama accorded him with the Personal Rank of Ambassador.

Ambassador Villarreal is an attorney in San Antonio, TX with a distinguished background in law, business, and the non-governmental sectors. He currently serves as a consulting senior advisor to the law firm of Akim, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, where he previously served as a partner. Prior to Akin Gump, he served as an assistant attorney general in the Public Finance Division of the Texas Attorney General’s office and in 1993 he served as associate director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Ambassador Villarreal has a broad political background and has served in senior roles in a number of presidential campaigns. He served in both former President Bill Clinton’s and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaigns. In 2000 he served as national treasurer of the Gore-Lieberman campaign.  He has also served on the governing boards of numerous organizations, both public and private. He currently serves on the boards of the Center for American Progress and the New America Alliance, an organization of distinguished American Latino business leaders dedicated to philanthropy. He also serves on the board of directors of the PMI Group, Union Pacific, and First Solar, Inc. and from 1998 until 2006 he served on the board of directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., where he also served as lead independent director.

Ambassador Villarreal has been recognized by numerous publications for his achievements and in 2001 was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Law Alumni Fellows by the Indiana University School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas.