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Susan Esserman, Esq.

Ambassador Susan Esserman founded and leads the University of Maryland SAFE Center for Human Trafficking Survivors. She is Co-Chair of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force Labor Trafficking Committee as well as Chair of the Prince George’s Human Trafficking Task Force Labor Trafficking Committee. In addition to leading the Center, she is a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, a Washington, D.C.- based international law firm, where she served as Chair of the International Trade Practice and in firm management and co-founded the firm’s Women’s Forum. She leads the firm’s pro bono program on behalf of survivors of human trafficking and has represented many human trafficking survivors. She has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Justice for Girls Empowerment Award and the National Journal’s Outstanding Women’s Lawyers List, recognizing the 75 most outstanding women lawyers in the nation. Ambassador Esserman held four senior positions in the Clinton administration: She was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (with rank of Ambassador) and Assistant Secretary of Commerce. She also served in the role of General Counsel at two agencies – the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards with a women’s rights and international focus. She was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Oliver Gasch, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia. Ambassador Esserman is a graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Michigan Law School.

UMD SAFE Center Team Statement on Racial Injustice

The UMD SAFE Center decries the structural racism that remains as a toxic legacy of our country’s history and permeates our society today, and we are working to ensure that we are an actively anti-racist institution.