REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
SUBJECT: Ambassadorial Nomination: Certificate of Demonstrated Competence — Foreign Service Act, Section 304(a)(4)
POST: United Mexican States
CANDIDATE: Christopher Landau
Christopher Landau is one of the leading constitutional and appellate attorneys in the United States. He has briefed and argued appeals involving a wide range of subject matters in courts all across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court, every one of the federal courts of appeals, and many state appellate courts. He spent 25 years at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he headed the firm’s appellate litigation practice. Since early 2018, he has been a partner in the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. In 2017, the Chief Justice appointed Mr. Landau to a three-year term as a member of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, which reviews the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Mr. Landau’s leadership in the legal community, his record of successful advocacy, and his demonstrated ability to deal with complex issues of law and policy, all make him an excellent candidate for Ambassador to Mexico.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Landau was a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit to then-Judge Clarence Thomas (1990). He then completed two clerkships in the U.S. Supreme Court, first for Justice Antonin Scalia (1990-91) and then again for Justice Clarence Thomas (1991-92). Mr. Landau has served on the Board of the Diplomacy Center Foundation since 2017, was a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs from 2005 – 2013, and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1991 – 1995.
Mr. Landau earned his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1985 and his J.D. degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1989. He was a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar, and won the Sophia Freund Prize for graduating first in his class at Harvard College. He also received a Certificate in Latin American Studies and the Hoopes and Newcomen Prizes for his senior thesis on U.S. relations with Venezuela in the 1940s. He is fluent in Spanish.