Foley Adds Former U.S. Ambassador V. Manuel Rocha to Miami Office

14 July 2009 Media Contact: Jill Chanen News
Recognized Authority on Latin America, Ambassador Rocha to Assist Clients with Immigration Matters and International Business Opportunities.

Foley announced today that V. Manuel Rocha, former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia, has joined the firm as special advisor on international business in the Miami office, working in the Government & Public Policy Practice. Prior to joining Foley, Ambassador Rocha was the director of government relations in Latin America for Arcos Dorados, a company that owns more than 1,800 McDonald's restaurants in 21 countries.

Ambassador Rocha had a distinguished career with the U.S. Foreign Service, serving in numerous positions in both the Department of State in Washington, D.C. and abroad. Until August 2002, he was the U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia. Prior to his arrival in La Paz, he served for three years as Chargé d’Affaires running the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Preceding this assignment in Argentina, he was the Deputy Principal Officer at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Cuba. Ambassador Rocha also served in the White House as the Director for Inter-American Affairs for the National Security Council from 1994 to 1995. He held additional posts in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Honduras and Italy.

After retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Rocha joined law firm Steel Hector & Davis in Miami as senior counselor for International Trade and Government Affairs and later served as the managing director for The Globis Group, a business development firm in Miami specializing in Latin America.

“Given Ambassador Rocha’s experience working with government and industry leaders around the globe, he will be a tremendous asset to our clients in navigating opportunities in Latin America,” said George Ash, chair of Foley’s Government & Public Policy Practice. “We are excited about the contributions he will make here.”

“Ambassador Rocha brings to our global immigration practice a wealth of practical knowledge and experience in the U.S. government's visa issuance policies, as well as worldwide contacts of elite foreign nationals seeking employment visas or permanent residence in the United States,” said Bill Davis, managing partner of Foley’s Miami office. “Ambassador Rocha will be an enormous contributor to the scope of services we bring to bear for clients on U.S. immigration cases, and corporate representation for Foley and our growing Miami office.”

Foley opened its doors in Miami in December 2007 with nine attorneys, and now boasts 15 attorneys practicing in real estate, tax & employee benefits, complex litigation, IP litigation, distribution & franchise, labor & employment, immigration, international business transactions and international trusts & estates.

Building on his roles with the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Rocha has also developed an extensive network throughout a variety of industries in the private sector of Latin America. He worked successfully with a Chinese company to enter the Latin American automotive, truck, bus and motorcycle markets. He also worked closely with a leading private equity firm to invest $300 million in Latin America and served on the board of a golf resort developer with operations in Mexico and Argentina.

Throughout his career, Ambassador Rocha’s efforts have been recognized by a variety of world leaders. In 2000, the President of Argentina bestowed upon him the Order of San Martin for his successful promotion of closer U.S.-Argentine relations. Similarly in 2002, the President of Bolivia honored Ambassador Rocha with the Condor de los Andes award for his contributions to improving U.S.-Bolivian relations. In 2001, he was honored with the U.S. President’s Award for “Sustained Superior Accomplishment in the Conduct of the Foreign Policy of the United States Government.”

Ambassador Rocha is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and a special advisor to the U.S. military’s Commander of SOUTHCOM, which is responsible for all U.S. military activities in South America and Central America. Meanwhile, the University of Miami has recently appointed Ambassador Rocha to its International Advisory Board. He has also been a member of Dr. Henry Kissinger’s International Council on Terrorism and has served on the Advisory Board of the Cuba Transition Project of the University of Miami.

After graduating cum laude from Yale University with a major in Latin American Studies, Ambassador Rocha obtained a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Masters in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Foley’s Government & Public Policy Practice provides a full range of legal and public policy counsel to clients seeking to do business with federal, state, and local government, including the following: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation and compliance; government procurement; political law, ethics, and campaign finance; public policy and strategic communications; and surface transportation issues.

Foley & Lardner LLP continually evolves to meet the changing legal needs of our clients. Our team-based approach, proprietary client service technology, and practice depth enhance client relationships while seeing clients through their most complex legal challenges. The BTI Consulting Group (Wellesley, Massachusetts) recently recognized Foley as one of the top four law firms shaping the U.S. legal market, while CIO magazine has named Foley to its CIO 100 list six times for our client-focused technology. With more than 1,000 attorneys in 21 offices and more than 50 practices, count on Foley for high-caliber business and legal insight.

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