Tennessee World Affairs Council – Board of Directors
Samar S. Ali
Director, Lodestone Advisory Group; Attorney; Bass, Berry & Sims; Former International Director, Tennessee Economic and Community Development
Samar Ali assists international businesses and individuals with cross-border investments, transactions, immigration, and compliance. She helps clients reach their strategic goals amidst the intersection of national security and economic development. Samar’s career has taken her across the globe through her work at the White House, the South African Supreme Court, the state of Tennessee and as an attorney.
Her experience includes:
- Compliance & Government Investigations – Advising on anti-corruption compliance issues in international mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, sourcing, contracting and distribution matters in connection with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
- Corporate – Advising clients on various corporate matters, including joint ventures, financing transactions and other cross-border endeavors.
- Data Security & Privacy – Advising clients on the right legal strategy to establish protocols to effectively manage evolving cyber risks globally.
- Immigration – Counseling companies and individuals related to complex immigration matters and/or visa investigations; directing clients through the EB-5 immigration process.
- Diplomacy – Working in an advisor capacity with various government and independent organizations to advocate, mediate and negotiate for peaceful resolutions in international conflict situations.
Samar started her career practicing at Hogan Lovells US LLP and helped establish its first Middle Eastern presence in the United Arab Emirates before she returned to the United States to work as a White House Fellow in President Barack Obama’s administration. There she worked closely with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and gained experience with bi-lateral negotiations on behalf of the U.S. Government. Samar later served as Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and managed Tennessee’s global relations where she developed Tennessee’s five-year international strategy plan, which laid the framework for the state’s international economic development footprint. Currently in addition to her legal practice, Samar serves as a Managing Director of the Lodestone Advisory Group, a consulting firm that specializes in internationalization, investment advisory and strategy, and is an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she teaches courses on international relations and negotiations. Prior to joining Bass, Berry & Sims, Samar was an attorney at the Nashville law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC.
During her time at, and after graduating from law school, Samar served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable Edwin Cameron, now of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. While an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, Samar was elected the school’s first Arab-American Student Body President.