Alan Wm. Wolff became WTO Deputy Director-General on October 1, 2017. He has had a long career dealing with international trade -- as a negotiator for the United States, as chief trade lawyer of the U.S. executive branch, and subsequently for many years in private law practice advising major clients in business and labour on matters of international trade policy. He has served and advised both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Prior to joining the WTO, he was for six years the Chairman of the National Foreign Trade Council, an organization founded in 1914 to promote more open world trade.
Ambassador Wolff served as United States Deputy Special Representative for Trade Negotiations (STR) in the Carter Administration and was General Counsel of the Office in the Ford Administration. He was for a time acting Head of the U.S. Delegation for the Tokyo Round of GATT Multilateral Trade Negotiations and a principal draftsman of the basic U.S. law creating a mandate for trade negotiations. As Deputy USTR he was a founder and first chairman of the OECD Steel Committee. Prior to joining STR, he was a lawyer with the U.S. Treasury Department and Director of its Office of Multilateral Trade Negotiations.
He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Peterson Institute for International Trade (PIIE), is a lifetime National Associate of the National Academies, having served several terms on the Science, Technology and Economic Policy Board of the Academies and chairing its Committee on Comparative Innovation Policies. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He holds a J.D. degree from Columbia University and an A.B. degree from Harvard College. His wife, Hélène is a retired Unitarian Minister. They have three children and six grandchildren.