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Mark A. Meyer

Mark Meyer 1.JPG

Mark A. Meyer (born 1946 in New York) is the founder and President of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce (1990) and the Moldovan-American Chamber of Commerce (1993). In recognition of his contributions to the business relations and cultural understanding between these respective nations and the United States, he was awarded Romania's National Order of Merit in the rank of Commander in 2004, and Moldova's highest civilian decoration, the Medal of Civic Merit, in 2006.[1] He is a practicing attorney[2] and an adjunct professor of law at St. John's University Law School[2] among other positions.

Contents

Role in Romania's Transition to DemocracyEdit

Meyer's involvement in Romania began in February 1990, less than two months after the execution of former Communist leader Nicolae Ceauşescu by revolutionaries, Meyer and others organized the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce (the RACC) as an independent bilateral organization devoted to improving Romanian-U.S. relations, with Meyer as its first president, a position he still holds.[3]

The RACC played a significant role in helping to change Western perceptions of Romania. The country's first post-Communist president, Ion Iliescu, was perceived by some Western leaders as a Communist in the Ceauşescu mold. On October 4, 1990, the RACC held a meeting introducing Iliescu to numerous US business leaders in New York, followed in November 1990 with a conference held in Bucharest designed to attract Western investment. Beginning in 1991, the RACC hosted monthly meetings in Washington, D.C. for the purposes of introducing major Romanian political leaders to US business and political leaders. Romanian Prime Ministers Petre Roman, Radu Vasile, Mugur Isărescu, Victor Ciorbea and Adrian Năstase as well as Presidents Iliescu and Constantinescu were all attendees at such events, which served to deepen ties between the United States and Romania.[3]

In December 1993, the RACC's role in obtaining Most Favored Nation Trading Status for Romania was recognized by receipt of the Libertatea Award.[3]

In 2002, in part through the lobbying efforts of the RACC and related organizations such as the Congress of Romanian-Americans led by its President, Armand Scala, who is also a National Vice President of the RACC, Romania joined NATO. The acceptance was followed by President George W. Bush's historic visit to Bucharest on November 23, 2002.[3]

First U.S. law firm to open in RomaniaEdit

In 1992, Meyer helped found the first Western law firm to open in Romanian when the U.S. law firm in which he was a partner, Hall Dickler, Lawler, Kent & Friedman opened offices in Bucharest.[4] Meyer is a name member in the law firm of Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir SCA in Bucharest http://hr.ro/, the predecessor of which was founded by him and three other attorneys in 1995. The firm played a prominent role in the privatization of a number of Romanian state-owned businesses in the 1990s.[5]

The firm has also been involved in prominent matters more recently, such as the restitution of Bran Castle, purported home of Count Dracula, to children of Princess Ileana of the Romanian royal family in 2006;[6] and representation of the Malaxa and Ausnit families, industrialists in pre-Communist times who presently hold 8% of the Fondul Proprietatea, an investment fund distributed as restitution to victims of Communism.[7]

Coverage in the Romanian MediaEdit

As a result of his relationship with Ion Iliescu, Democratic Romania's first President, as well as its second President, Emil Constantinescu, and general public interest in Romanian relations with the United States, Meyer was frequently covered by the Romanian press, particularly in the 1990s, when his photo was displayed on the front page of the Curierul National on at least three occasions, each in connection with US-Romanian relations. He was also prominently featured in other national publications in that period, including in the Cronica Romana and the Vocea Romaniei, and appeared numerous times on Romanian State Television.[8]

Since that time, he has remained a steady topic of media coverage in Romania, including in connection with the restitution of Bran Castle and representation of the Malaxa and Ausnit families in receiving restitution for properties seized during Communist times.[9] He is often the target of attacks in the media by hyper-nationalistic right-wing groups, who point to his prominence as proof of their anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.[10]

Activities relating to MoldovaEdit

In addition to his activities relating to Romania, Meyer has been prominently involved in promoting US-Moldovan relations. The Moldovan-American Chamber of Commerce (the MACC) was created in 1993 as a non-profit corporation to facilitate cooperation between U.S. and Moldovan businesses, with Meyer as its president, a position he still holds.[11] The MACC has held luncheons and dinners in the United States for Moldova's Presidents Mircea Snegur, Petru Lucinschi and Vladimir Voronin, as well as many of its other leaders. For example, in early 2010, MACC members attended a private dinner in New York with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat and Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca in New York.[3]

When Meyer was Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, he led the mission that authored a 2006 report on the violations of international law in Transnistria. This document later became a formal United Nations document and formed the basis for a resolution of the Government of Moldova adopting a plan of action to utilize the rule of law to resolve the Transnistrian crisis.[12]

On October 13, 2011, Meyer was appointed to the World Bank’s Panel of Arbitrators of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) for a six-year term by designation of the Republic of Moldova. ICSID is the leading international arbitration institution devoted to investor-State dispute settlement.

On February 7, 2012, Meyer was appointed by the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Moldova as Honorary Consul of Moldova for the State New York for a six-year term.

First U.S. law firm to open in MyanmarEdit

On July 29, 2013, Mr. Meyer spearheaded the opening of the first American law firm to open a licensed law office in Myanmar, as well as the first U.S. investor in the professional services industry to hold a 100% ownership interest under the new 2012 Myanmar Investment Law, named Herzfeld, Rubin, Meyer & Rose Law Firm LTD and located in Yangon, Myanmar. Due, in part, to the Rakhine crisis, the office in Yangon is scheduled to close in 2018, but the Firm will continue its Myanmar-related activities.

Awards and honorsEdit

In recognition of his contributions to the business relations and cultural understanding between these respective nations and the United States, he was awarded Romania's National Order of Merit in the rank of Commander in 2004, and Moldova's highest civilian decoration, the Medal of Civic Merit, in 2006.[13] In 2004, Meyer was named a Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumnus for his "great skill in the economic, legal and political transformation of a developing region" (referring to Romania, Moldova and neighboring countries such as Montenegro). He is also the recipient of Fairleigh Dickinson University's Pinnacle Award, its highest honor for distinguished alumni.[14]

In 2007, St. John's University School of Law conferred upon Meyer the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, describing him as "a pioneer in promoting the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990."[15]

He has served as an associate professor of law and chair of the Anglo-Saxon Law Department at Universitatea Crestina Dimitrie Cantemir in Romania,[16] an honorary position. He also serves as vice president of the Congress of Romanian Americans[17] — the only non-Romanian-American to be an officer or director of that organization.

On May 17, 2011, Fairleigh Dickinson University bestowed the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon Mark A. Meyer. The University citation reads, in part: "Fairleigh Dickinson applauds you as an honored son for embracing the promise of other cultures, working tirelessly to promote the rule of law in a developing region and building international relationships based on mutual cooperation." In his commencement address Meyer told the nearly 3,000 graduates that "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."[18] Mr. Meyer is a member of the Executive Council of Fairleigh Dickinson University's School of Public and Global Affairs and lectures there on Foreign Investment in Emerging Markets.

Professional and Personal BackgroundEdit

Meyer is an attorney admitted to practice in the state of New York and is a member of Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C. He received an undergraduate degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1968, a juris doctor degree from St. John's University School of Law in 1971 and an LLM degree from Harvard Law School in 1972. He has been teaching a course on Transactions in Emerging Markets at St. John's University School of Law since 2005 as an Adjunct Professor of Law.

He has chaired two committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, including the European Affairs Committee and the Foreign and Comparative Law Committee. He is also an elected member of the Atlantic Council. He has been co-chair of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Public International Law since 2009.

Meyer is of German-Jewish heritage, both of his parents having fled that country in 1940 to New York. The lives of his paternal grandparents, who perished at Auschwitz in 1942, were recently the topic of an extensive history of the Holocaust in their native town of Gelsenkirchen, Germany.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Bogdan Banu. "Congress of Romanian-Americans Website". Romanianamericans.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Mark A. Meyer - Attorneys - Herzfeld & Rubin, P.C". Herzfeld-rubin.com. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "RACC Website". Racc.ro. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  4. ^ "Hall Dickler S.R.L. consultanta juridica". Bizoo.ro. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir Website". Hr.ro. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  6. ^ "Rubin Meyer Doru & Trandafir - Latest News". Hr.ro. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  7. ^ http://www.money.ro/fonduri-de-investitii/fp-decide-in-noiembrie-daca-avocatul-familiei-malaxa-va-semna-contractul-cu-franklin-templeton.html Money Romania Website, "FP decide, în noiembrie, dacă avocatul familiei Malaxa va semna contractul cu Franklin Templeton" (Fondul Proprietatea decide in November whether Malaxa family lawyer will sign the contract with Franklin Templeton).
  8. ^ See, e.g., Vocea Romaniei Newspaper; Vol. II, Nr. 72, 28 February 1994: "He Got Us the [Most Favored Nation] Clause. What Do We Do With It?" (referring to Mark A. Meyer); Curierul National Newspaper, Vol. III, Nr. 721: "Americans Know Little About Romania" (a discussion with Mark A. Meyer); Curierul National Newspaper, Vol. IV, Nr. 840, 1 March 1994: "Initiatives to Capitalize on U.S. MFN Clause" (referring to Mark A. Meyer); Curierul National Newspaper, Vol. VI, Nr. 1321, 12 July 1995: "National Confederation of Entrepreneurs President George Paunescu Meets Mark Meyer, President of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce"; Libertatea Newspaper, Vol. V, Nr. 1157, 28 October 1993: "Romania Has to Win Back the American Market" (a discussion with Mark A. Meyer); Cronica Romana Newspaper, Vol. III, Nr. 708, May 18, 1995: "Americans Have a Significant Interest in Investing in Romania"
  9. ^ See, e.g., [1]; [2]; [3]; [4]; [5]
  10. ^ See, e.g., [6]; [7]; [8]; ;http://www.crestinortodox.ro/comunitate/blog.php?user=Hizny&blogentry_id=1877
  11. ^ "MACC Website". Racc.ro. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  12. ^ "Microsoft Word - NYCity Bar Transnistria Report final.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  13. ^ "Fellows of the American Bar Association Newsletter, 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  14. ^ "Fairleigh Dickinson Website". Inside.fdu.edu. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  15. ^ "St. John's Law School Website". Digest.stjohns.edu. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  16. ^ "FDU Press Release: Mark Meyer, Corporate International Attorney, Honored". Inside.fdu.edu. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  17. ^ Bogdan Banu. "Congress of Romanian Americans Website". Romanianamericans.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  18. ^ His speech can be found at this site by moving the counter cursor to 53:00: http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/commencementwebcast.html; FDU’s description of the honoree can be found here: http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=8624; Article referencing the honoree can be found here: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/051711_FDU_graduation_set_for_today.html
  19. ^ See http://www.gelsenzentrum.de/english_moritz_toni_meyer.htm