ABA staffer Thomas Susman received the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Institute for Lobbying & Ethics (NILE) Nov. 16. The group cited his extensive experience and steadfast dedication to ethical lobbying practices that set a benchmark for the profession.
“Tom is the epitome of what a lobbyist is — a person who believes in good government; someone who gives a voice to the people; someone who believes government and lobbying should be open and transparent; and above all, someone committed to upholding ethical standards,” said NILE President Jocelyn Hong.
Susman is the ABA’s strategic adviser for Governmental Affairs and Global Programs. He assumed the role after retiring in 2018 as the director of the Governmental Affairs Office and associate executive director of the ABA, a position he held since May 2008.
Prior to joining the ABA, he was a partner in the Washington office of Ropes & Gray for 27 years where his work included lobbying on a wide range of regulatory, antitrust, health care, ethics and information law issues.
Before that, Susman served on Capitol Hill for more than 11 years as chief counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure and general counsel to the Antitrust Subcommittee and to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Internationally, Susman has done consulting and election monitoring in more than 30 countries, including New Zealand, Russia, the Philippines, Chile, South Africa and France.
“The ABA has been fortunate to have a lobbyist and leader of Tom’s caliber on our team for the last 15 years,” said Holly Cook, ABA senior associate executive director. “He has dedicated his 40-plus-year career to improving our lobbying profession, advancing the policy interests of his clients and the ABA, serving his community and educating his colleagues both domestically and abroad.”