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The Honorable Nazak Nikakhtar L’02, G’02 to Speak at College of Law Opening Convocation Ceremony
Syracuse University’s College of Law announced today the Hon. Nazak Nikakhtar L’02, G’02 as its 2022 opening convocation speaker.
Currently partner at Wiley Rein LLP, chair of the firm’s national security practice and co-chair of its foreign investment practice (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS), Nikakhtar specializes in international trade national security law, global competition policy and supply chain resilience. Nikakhtar is also a trade economist and former Georgetown University adjunct law professor.
From 2018-21, with unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Nikakhtar served as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s assistant secretary at the International Trade Administration (ITA). Nikakhtar also fulfilled the duties of the under secretary for industry and security at the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).
In these roles, Nikakhtar shaped America’s international trade and national security policies in this new era of intensified economic competition, spearheaded the U.S. government’s first-ever analysis on strengthening supply chains, shaped U.S. investment policy and implemented groundbreaking national security legislations.
During her previous tenure at the Department of Commerce, and immediately upon graduating from Syracuse, Nikakhtar worked at both ITA and BIS advising on the domestic industrial base. She has received numerous award medals from the U.S. government for her work on trade and national security.
Nikakhtar is also a prolific lecturer on trade and national security issues, and most recently, she appeared as the chief legal expert before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at a hearing on Threats to National Security: Countering the People’s Republic of China’s Economic and Technological Plan for Dominance.
Of her relentless drive to advance U.S. national security, Nikakhtar has said, “I am deeply patriotic to the country that gave me my home, my education and my freedom, and it is my duty to serve this great country through my legal career.“ About her plans to address the entering classes at Syracuse Law this fall, she says, “I am deeply grateful to Syracuse University for giving me the foundational skills and education to succeed professionally, and I look forward to passing forward my knowledge and expertise to enable the new generation of Orange lawyers to succeed in rewarding careers.”
Nikakhtar has served as a distinguished guest lecturer in the College of Law’s externship program in Washington, D.C. Nikakhtar earned juris doctor and master of economics degrees from Syracuse University, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce. The College of Law looks forward to welcoming Nikakhtar back to her alma mater this fall.
“We anticipate great words of wisdom and encouragement from Nazak,” says Dean Craig M. Boise, “and believe she has so much to offer the incoming class considering her breadth of experience on matters of law and national security.”
Opening convocation will be held during orientation week, Aug. 15-19, at the College of Law.