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Ellen O'Kane Tauscher, 1951 – 2019

Baker Donelson is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Ellen O'Kane Tauscher. Ms. Tauscher, who was a former seven-term member of Congress from California, a key advisor to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, and a strategic advisor in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. office, died on April 29, 2019.

Born in Newark, New Jersey on November 15, 1951, Ms. Tauscher was the eldest of four children and the first member of her family to attend college. She graduated in 1974 from Seton Hall University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education.

She began a 14-year Wall Street career with Bache & Co. and, at age 25, became one of the first women to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange. She also served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange from 1980 to 1983, after which she worked as an investment banker for Bear Stearns and a subsidiary of Drexel Burnham Lambert.

In 1989, Ms. Tauscher moved to California and later founded the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers. She also published The ChildCare Sourcebook and headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access.

Ms. Tauscher was elected on her first run for any elected office in 1996, representing California's 10th Congressional district as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives. She served until her resignation to join the Obama Administration in her seventh term on June 26, 2009. While in Congress, she was a leading centrist Democrat and the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 65 moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives. She also served as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Leadership Council from 2001 to 2005.

Representing the only Congressional District to be the home of two national nuclear labs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory, Ms. Tauscher served on the House Armed Services Committee for more than 12 years and became the chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee when the Democrats achieved the majority in 2006. She also served concurrently on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was the senior Californian on the Highway and Transit and Aviation subcommittees.

Nominated by President Barack Obama in March 2009 and confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs on June 25, 2009, she served in this role until February 6, 2012. Ms. Tauscher served as special envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department from February 7, 2012 until her resignation from government service on August 31, 2012.

As under secretary of state, Ms. Tauscher was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation in March 2010 in Geneva, after months of stalemate. Secretary Tauscher 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. Following her strong support and leadership on missile defense development and deployment while in Congress, Ms. Tauscher lead the State Department effort to secure and negotiate the sites and bilateral agreements for the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense system to be deployed with NATO allies in Poland, Romania and Turkey.

After returning to the private sector in 2012, Ms. Tauscher joined Baker Donelson, bringing her unique background and experience to the Firm as a strategic advisor in the Government Relations and Public Policy Group. She was also actively engaged in organizations outside the Firm. Ms. Tauscher served as the vice chair of the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and also served on the Atlantic Council's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Additionally, she was a member of the Board of Directors of Invacare Corporation (IVC, NYSE), of Elyria, Ohio; a member of the Board of Directors of Ehealth, Inc.(EHTH) of Mountain View, California; a member of the Board of Directors of Edison International and Southern California Edison; an independent member of the Board of Governors of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC and Los Alamos National Security LLC; a member of the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network; and served as chairman of the Board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation. In August 2013, she became 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 led by Wal-Mart, The Gap, Target and VF Brands, focused on working with NGOs, the ILO industry and the government in Bangladesh, the world's second largest garment manufacturing country, to provide sustainable and enforceable garment factory workplace safety.

"Ellen brought her formidable spirit to bear in public service as well as business, and has left an enduring legacy that is a testament to her leadership and brilliance," said Scott L. Campbell, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C. office. "We at Baker Donelson feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of her remarkable life. She will be sorely missed."



Baker Donelson professional not admitted to the practice of law in Washington, D.C.; admitted to the Texas Bar.

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