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S. Bruce Wilson speaks five languages-an obvious asset in his new job as director of the World Trade Organization’s legal affairs division. A former partner in the public law and policy practice group in the Washington, D.C., office of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Wilson, 54, began work at the Geneva-based WTO in mid-September. “People wondered why I did this,” says Wilson, noting that he now makes substantially less than he did in private practice. “I’ve spent most of my career on international trade and public policy issues. And this was too good an opportunity to pass up.” Prior to joining Akin, Gump, Wilson spent 25 years as an employee of the the federal government. He worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means subcommittee on trade from 1991 to 1998. Before that he was a negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. At the WTO, Wilson will have 11 lawyers from various countries reporting to him. The trade organization is engaged in a new round of multilateral trade negotiations-the Doha Development Round. Over the next few years, Wilson and his staff will advise WTO members on a wide range of issues, including antidumping rules, agricultural subsidies, and further liberalization of trade in services. While it may sound a bit wonky, “It’s intellectually a very fascinating position,” Wilson says.

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