Michael A. Lawson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador and Permanent U.S. Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on July 21, 2014, sworn in on July 22, and presented his credentials in Montreal on July 25.
Mr. Lawson is the immediate past President of the Los Angeles World Airports’ Board of Airport Commissioners. He has been a member of the Board of Airport Commissioners since 2005 and held the position of President of the Commission since 2011. Previously, Mr. Lawson was Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, L.L.P. Mr. Lawson was employed at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from 1980 to 2011. Mr. Lawson headed the Employee Benefits Group at Skadden’s Los Angeles office. He worked on all facets of executive compensation and employee benefits matters for firm clients, including stock options and other equity-based compensation plans; tax-qualified and non-qualified pension plans; fiduciary
responsibility/prohibited transactions; single and multi-employer plan liability matters; severance agreements and ERISA-related issues in structured finance transactions; bankruptcy proceedings; and proxy contests.
Mr. Lawson regularly advised boards of trustees of pension and other employee benefits funds, and boards of directors of financial institutions and of companies sponsoring pension plans concerning their duty of care, fiduciary responsibilities, conflicts of interest and other statutory duties under state and federal laws. He provided advice in the context of financings, private investment company matters, and merger and acquisition transactions. Mr. Lawson also counseled investment advisors. His experience includes advising clients with respect to the structuring and offering of investment vehicles to pension plans and other institutional investors, and the fiduciary obligations of investment managers, trustees and other fiduciaries, including matters involving ERISA litigation, U.S. Department of Labor exemption requests and matters involving the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and other government agencies.
Mr. Lawson was a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. He serves as a Trustee of the California State Teachers' Retirement System; the Community Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board for the City of Los Angeles; as well as a number of other educational and not-for-profit organizations, including Morehouse College and Loyola Marymount University.