US firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has hired US ambassador to Belgium, Alan Blinken, as a part-time senior adviser in its Washington DC office.
Blinken, who retires in August and was once managing director of investment bank Wertheim Schroder & Co, is a supporter of the Democratic party. He had little experience of diplomacy before becoming ambassador to Belgium four and a half years ago.
Bruce McLean, chairman of Akin Gump, said: "His role will be to assist our partners by offering strategic advice to American companies working in Eastern Europe. He has some extraordinary insights as an investment banker and has expertise in knowing what opportunities exist for US investments in Europe."
Blinken set up the US Trade Investment Center in 1995 to provide information to US and multinational firms seeking to do business in the former Soviet bloc. He also created the Legal Plus database, which provides English translations of laws and regulations for 26 countries in Eastern Europe.