David W. Rivkin, a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton who splits his time between New York and London, recently was elected secretary-general of the International Bar Association. He is the first American in more than two decades to hold one of the bar group’s top three positions.

As co-chair of Debevoise’s international dispute resolution group, Rivkin, 55, has handled international arbitrations throughout the world and before virtually every major arbitration institution. The subjects of these arbitrations have included long-term energy concessions, investment treaties, joint venture agreements, insurance coverage, construction contracts, distribution agreements and intellectual property.