Jeff Bleich was appointed to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2014. The Board elected Bleich as Vice Chair for 2016 and as Chair for 2017. He was subsequently reelected twice by the Board to continue as Chair for 2018 and 2019.
Ambassador (ret.) Bleich is a lawyer, diplomat, and educator. He currently serves as a special master in federal multidistrict litigation and as Chair of the Board of the Pacific Gas & Electric Co.
From 2009 to 2013, Bleich served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia. During his four years as Ambassador, he co-chaired with Australia’s Prime Minister the Australia-U.S. Fulbright Commission and helped to expand the number and range of Fulbright Scholars to the United States. For his service in Australia, Ambassador Bleich received multiple commendations, including the Sue Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service in 2013. In 2016, he was appointed by then-Secretary Kerry to the Executive Committee of the East West Center.
Bleich served in the White House as Special Counsel in 2009 and as President of the California State Bar Association from 2007 to 2008. Prior to that he was a partner in the San Francisco Office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, leading the firm’s international practice, and focused on cross-border disputes, trade, and high-stakes litigation. He later led the global commercial diplomacy group for Dentons LLP, and has nearly 25 years of experience resolving complex international disputes. He is regularly listed as one of the leading lawyers in the United States. From 1990-91, he clerked for the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Bleich is a visiting Professor at Flinders University and the University of Sydney, he has taught courses at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, including international law and constitutional law, and publishes extensively. He has also counseled several higher education institutions, such as Stanford University, University of California, and University of Southern California. He served as a Trustee of the California State University System from 2003 to 2008, and as Chair from 2008 to 2009, overseeing the nation’s largest higher education system. He is currently on the Board of Trustees of Amherst College and the Board of Stanford’s Center for the Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences. He is a life member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Bleich graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, and honorary doctorate degrees from San Francisco State University, Flinders University in Adelaide, and Griffith University in Brisbane.