Christopher Smeall

Member, Board of Directors


Christopher SmeallChristopher SmeallChristopher Smeall

Christopher Smeall is a partner of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, an international law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Mr. Smeall served as Deputy Presiding Partner of the firm and was a member of its Management Committee from 1999–2007. His practice has focused for 25 years on international business transactions covering a wide range of matters, such as the privatization of the Mexican telephone company Telmex; the development of the Sakhalin Island oil and gas project in Russia; the financing of the Paiton power project in Indonesia; financing refinery, pipeline, and other projects in Brazil; development of the Goro nickel mine in New Caledonia; liquefied natural gas arrangements in Algeria; and many others. Mr. Smeall received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1979 and served as law clerk for a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for one year before joining Debevoise.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Smeall was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley from 1973–76, where he studied linguistics, receiving his M.Phil. in 1975 and his C. Phil. in 1976. His uncompleted dissertation involved the comparative analysis of intonational systems across different languages. During this period, he also published work on Burmese verb morphology and helped conduct experiments in the areas of phonetics and neurolinguistics, among other interests. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1973.

Mr. Smeall is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served for a number of years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ballet Hispanico of New York. He joined the Board of Managers of the School for Advanced Research in 2005. He lives in New York City with his wife, Ann Fabian, who is Professor of American Studies and History and Dean of Humanities at Rutgers University.

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