Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), one of the world`s largest hotel and leisure companies, today announced the appointment of Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky to the company`s Board of Directors.
Formerly the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Barshefsky is currently Senior International Partner at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Washington D.C., where she provides global business, investment, regulatory, trade and negotiating advice.
Ambassador Barshefsky was the chief trade negotiator and principal trade policy maker for the United States from 1996 to 2001. As the United States Trade Representative and a member of the President`s Cabinet, Ambassador Barshefsky was at center stage in the opening of foreign markets and the elimination of regulatory and investment barriers around the world and, as the architect of U.S. trade policy, a central figure for international business.
“Ambassador Barshefsky has spent the last decade at the forefront of global trade policy and international business, and her expertise will be a tremendous asset to Starwood, which is one of the world`s largest global hotel companies with hotels in more than 80 countries,” said Barry S. Sternlicht, Starwood`s Chairman and CEO. “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Charlene to our Board.”
Best known for negotiating the historic market opening agreement with China on its entry into the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Barshefsky pursued an aggressive agenda to open foreign markets across the globe, negotiating hundreds of complex trade agreements with virtually every major market, from China, Japan and the European Union to the smallest states of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to agreements covering traditional sectors of the economy, Ambassador Barshefsky also developed and negotiated trade rules for the information age, concluding global agreements covering the world`s telecommunications markets, global financial services, information technology products, intellectual property rights and cyberspace, which account for well over half of all global commerce.
Ambassador Barshefsky`s accomplishments have been widely recognized. Harvard Law School recently honored her with its “Great Negotiator” award and Harvard Business School has chronicled her deft negotiating skills in a series of case studies. She was the recipient of Yale Law School`s Prieskel-Silverman Fellowship for extraordinary public service. Ambassador Barshefsky has been extensively profiled in many national publications here and abroad including the New Yorker magazine, The New York Times and The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, London`s Financial Times, as well as throughout the Asian and Latin American press.
Immediately following government service, Ambassador Barshefsky was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Prior to her confirmation as the United States Trade Representative (USTR), she was the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and Acting USTR from 1993 to 1996. Before entering government service, she was a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where she co-chaired the firm`s International Practice group. Ambassador Barshefsky is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Catholic University School of Law.
Ambassador Barshefsky is also a member of the Board of Directors of American Express and Estee Lauder.
Barshefsky`s Appointment Completes Restructuring of Starwood`s
According to Sternlicht, Barshefsky`s appointment completes an 18-month restructuring of Starwood`s Board of Directors, which was led by the Board`s Nominating Committee and resulted in a smaller, yet more diverse group. Today, the Board consists of 11 individuals possessing a greater range of expertise in areas including technology, globalization and corporate experience - all crucial restructuring goals. Sternlicht remains as the only corporate executive to sit on the Board, and in addition to Ambassador Barshefsky, Starwood`s current Board of Directors is composed of the following individuals:
* Jean-Marc Chapus, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of Trust Company of the West, an investment consulting firm, and President of TCW/Crescent Mezzanine L.L.C., a private investment fund.
* Bruce W. Duncan, currently a private investor and formerly the Chairman and CEO of The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, one of the largest real estate companies in North America.
* Eric Hippeau, formerly Chairman and CEO of Ziff-Davis, and currently President and Executive Managing Director of Softbank Corp.
* Senator George J. Mitchell, a United States Senator from January 1980 to January 1995, and the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995. Currently he is Special Counsel to the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand.
* Stephen R. Quazzo, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Transwestern Investment Company, L.L.C., a real estate principal investment firm.
* Thomas O. Ryder, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Reader`s Digest Association, Inc.
* Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
* Raymond S. Troubh, currently a financial consultant and a former Governor of the American Stock Exchange as well as a former general partner of Lazard Freres & Co.
* Daniel W. Yih, a Principal, Portfolio Management, with GTCR Golder Rauner, L.L.C., a venture capital firm.
* Kneeland C. Youngblood, a managing partner of Pharos Capital Group, L.L.C., a private equity fund focused on technology, business service and health care companies.