David E. Birenbaum is of counsel resident in Fried Frank’s Washington, DC office.  He joined the firm in 1963, and became a corporate partner in 1971.  Upon his retirement as a partner in 2000, he became of counsel.

Among Mr. Birenbaum’s contributions to public service are the following:

  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform (1994-1996)
  • Senior Scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (March 3, 2003-Present)
  • Public member of the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. Conference on Human Rights in Geneva (1996)
  • Associate General Counsel, National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (1967-1968)
  • Chairman of the Board and founder of the Emergency Coalition for U.S. Financial Support of the United Nations (1996-2000)
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Democracy Coalition Project (2008-Present)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Conflict Management Group (2002-2003)
  • Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (1979-2006)
  • Member of the Board and Executive Committee of Americans for Peace Now (1999-present)
  • Chair, American Bar Association Task Force on the United Nations Human Rights Commission (2004-2005)
  • Member, Council of International Law Section, ABA (2004-present)


      Until recently Birenbaum was an attorney with Freid, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson. He was a former U.S. Ambassador to the UN for UN Management and Reform. His tenure at the U.S. Mission began in 1994 and continued until 1996. After leaving government, he organized and chaired the Emergency Coalition for U.S. Financial Support of the UN.

      Major Publications

      • The UN Reform Agenda, A Global Agenda, Issues before the United Nations, 2010 2011 United Nations Association (2011)
      • The UN and NATO: Twenty Years After, Cadernos Adenauer, no 2, 2009
      • UN Reform, Progress, Prospects, and Priorities: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Project on Leadership and Building State Capacity, October 2007
      • Business Ventures in Eastern Europe and Russia: The Emerging Legal Framework for Foreign Investment, Prentice Hall Law & Business, 1992, a two-volume treatise
      • “The Omnibus Trade Act of 1988: Trade Law Dialectics,” University of Pennsylvania/Journal of International Business Law, Fall 1989 

      Previous Terms

      March 3, 2003 - January 31, 2011