Ambassador Louis F. O’Neill graduated in 1990 from Stanford University with a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature with Distinction. A four-year member of the Stanford Cycling Team, he was its co-captain during his junior year. He spent 1990-1991 studying at Moscow State University as a Fulbright Presidential Scholar. Ambassador O’Neill received a Masters degree in Russian and East European Studies from Stanford in 1992 and earned a Juris Doctor cum laude degree from the Harvard Law School in 1996. During 1992-1993 he worked at The Moscow Times newspaper as a journalist and designer.

Upon completing law school in 1996, Ambassador O’Neill joined the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) as a Project Associate for HIID’s Russian Legal Reform Project in Moscow. He helped draft market-based laws and regulations for the Russian Duma and Federal Securities Commission.

From 1997-1999 he worked as an Associate in the Corporate and Intellectual Property Departments of the White & Case law firm in New York.

Between 1999 and 2001 he was Head of Business Development and General Counsel for The Falconwood Corporation in New York, a private equity/venture capital company.

From 2001-2004, Ambassador O’Neill worked as an Assistant District Attorney at the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office. In this capacity he was responsible for long-term investigation and prosecution of financial and organized crime, arson, embezzlement, forgery, fraud and other scams, schemes and white-collar crimes. Cases of note include: People v. Carone, et al. ($27 million bankruptcy fraud prosecuted under New York State’s OCCA statute); People v. Cortes, et al. (career brides facilitating immigration fraud); People v. Kwaschnik (complex hotel fraud involving extradition of defendant from Switzerland); People v. Lebedev, et al. (fraudulent immigration law firm backed by Russian organized crime group); People v. Kaltech Industries (investigation into chemical explosion at Chelsea manufacturer that injured 43 people).

In 2004 he became a White House Fellow. In that capacity, he served as Special Assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell and was assigned to the Office of Russian Affairs. He was tasked, among other things, with issues related to counter-terrorism and law-enforcement co-operation. Ambassador O’Neill also handled special projects for the Secretary of State, one of which was an assignment as U.S. expert to the OSCE Minsk Group’s Fact Finding Mission to the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan Surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh.

In 2005 Ambassador O’Neill joined the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. State Department and was responsible for helping develop long-term U.S. policy towards Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

On July 21, 2006, he was appointed as Ambassador and Head of Mission of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. In that capacity he served as chief executive, political and administrative officer for a three-office (Chisinau, Tiraspol, Bendery) 60-person diplomatic Mission charged with negotiations on resolving the Transnistrian conflict, reuniting the Republic of Moldova, facilitating the withdrawal of Russian troops and munitions, developing democratic standards and the rule of law, human rights, freedom of the media, and combating trafficking in human beings.

Ambassador O’Neill received the Legal Aid Society’s 2000 Pro Bono Award for his work on criminal appeals in New York and the Franklin Award of the U.S. State Department in 2005 for his work in Nagorno-Karabakh. During graduate study he also received two FLAS Grants for the advanced study of Russian. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Ambassador O’Neill is admitted to practice law in the state and Federal courts of New York and the United States Supreme Court. He is a native English speaker, is fluent in Russian, and speaks Romanian well.

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