(Washington, D.C./June 16, 2015) Ellen O'Kane Tauscher of Baker Donelson has been awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Ms. Tauscher, who received the Commander's Cross in recognition of her efforts to promote shared German, European and U.S. interests, was presented with the award by German Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig during a reception at his residence.
A strategic advisor in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C., office, Ms. Tauscher served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs and as Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department under President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton. As Under Secretary of State, she was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New START Treaty with the Russian Federation and also represented the United States at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in May 2010, which produced the first consensus agreement in 10 years.
Prior to her service in the State Department, Ms. Tauscher was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 10th Congressional district, from 1997 until her resignation in 2009 upon joining the State Department. While in Congress, she served on the House Armed Services Committee for more than 12 years and was Chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee. Ms. Tauscher served concurrently on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was the senior Californian on the Highway and Transit and Aviation subcommittees. She was also the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 65 moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, and served as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Leadership Council.
Ms. Tauscher is the vice chair of the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and also serves on the Atlantic Council's board of directors and executive committee. Since 2013, she has served as independent board chairman of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a 501(C)6 coalition of the 26 largest North American retailers and clothing brands that are working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the government in Bangladesh, the world's second largest garment manufacturing country, to provide sustainable and enforceable garment factory workplace safety.