New York City lawyer James R. Silkenat, a partner in the national law firm of Sullivan & Worcester, was nominated Feb. 6 at the ABA Midyear Meeting to become president-elect of the association.
If elected at the upcoming Annual Meeting in August, Silkenat will assume the ABA presidency in August 2013 after serving one year as president-elect.
Silkenat has held many leadership positions within the ABA. In addition to serving in the House of Delegates since 1990 as a state delegate from New York, he chaired the Section of International Law, the ABA Section Officers Conference and the ABA Standing Committees on Membership, and Constitution and Bylaws. He is a member of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the ABA Leadership Coalition on Solo and Small Firm Lawyers. He also is a former member of the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committee as well as a former chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation.
In his legal practice he helps coordinate the firm’s international business practice and concentrates on project and infrastructure finance, banking and securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate law.
He plans to focus on several initiatives during his presidency, including promoting diversity in the legal profession, working more closely with corporate counsel, examining election law reform issues, and improving bar services for solo and small firm practitioners.
A native of Kansas, Silkenat received a B.A. from Drury College, his J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law, and a Master of Laws in international law from New York University School of Law.