Ambassador Ira Shapiro is one of Washington's best-liked and most respected public servants. He was one of the premier U.S. trade negotiators in the Clinton Administration during what is generally regarded as the most productive period of American trade policy and negotiation. He helped complete the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round, the global trade agreement that created the World Trade Organization and established today's global trade rules, and then went on to negotiate solutions to some of the most contentious trade disputes between the United States and Japan and Canada. Through his articles, speeches and interviews, Ira has become a leading voice on the central role that the Senate must play in breaking the gridlock in Washington, and not coincidentally, the first commentator to signal the beginning of the Senate's return to respectability.
Ira is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Last Great Senate: Courage and Statesmanship in Times of Crisis. His first book, The Last Great Senate has been described as a "tour de force" (Washington Post); compared to "Profiles in Courage" for this generation of leaders (Philadelphia Inquirer); and called a "historically and politically artistic work of great brilliance" (Richard A, Baker, Senate Historian Emeritus). His speeches reflect his passion for politics and government, his experience in the Senate, the Clinton White House and political campaigns and the "honesty and humor" once described as his stock in trade.