William H. Taft IV
William H. Taft IV is of counsel resident in Fried Frank’s Washington, DC office. He joined the firm in 1992. In 2001, Mr. Taft was appointed by President George W. Bush as Legal Adviser to the Department of State. He was the principal adviser on all domestic and international legal matters to the Department of State, the Foreign Service, and the diplomatic and consular posts abroad. He was also the principal adviser on legal matters relating to the conduct of foreign relations to other agencies and, through the Secretary of State, to the President and the National Security Council. After four years of service at the State Department, he rejoined the firm and became of counsel.
Prior to joining Fried Franks in 1992, Mr. Taft was the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO from 1989 to 1992. He served as Deputy Secretary of Defense from January 1984 to April 1989 and as Acting Secretary of Defense from January to March 1989. From 1981 to 1984, Mr. Taft was General Counsel for the Department of Defense.
Mr. Taft was in private law practice in Washington, DC from 1977 to 1981. Before entering private practice, he served in various positions at the Federal Trade Commission, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he was appointed by President Ford in 1976 to serve as General Counsel.
Mr. Taft received his JD in 1969 from Harvard Law School and his BA in 1966 from Yale University. He is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia.