On October 8, 2009, President Obama nominated David Huebner as the next U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and the Independent State of Samoa. Ambassador Huebner was sworn in on December 4, 2009 and presented his credentials to the New Zealand Governor-General the Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand on December 9, 2009 and to His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi of the Independent State of Samoa on February 23, 2010.
Before being posted to New Zealand and Samoa, Ambassador Huebner was a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, where he headed the law firm’s China Practice and International Disputes Practice. Based in Shanghai, he specialized in international arbitration and mediation and handled a wide range of matters across the Pacific Rim region. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a solicitor in England & Wales, and an attorney now on inactive status licensed in several U.S. jurisdictions.
Previously, the Ambassador was chairman of the international law firm Coudert Brothers LLP and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law, where he taught courses in international business transactions, international arbitration, and international intellectual property. He has guest lectured on the same topics at several at other schools in the United States and China.
Ambassador Huebner has long been active in civic, non-profit, and educational activities. While at Coudert, he founded a program to support children’s education and welfare charities through the Firm’s offices around the world. He has chaired the California Law Revision Commission, has served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission, and was a founding board member and general counsel of the national Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He has been an arbitrator for many years at the Willem Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moots in Vienna and Hong Kong.
A native of Pennsylvania and long-time resident of California, Ambassador Huebner is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he studied at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a graduate of the Yale Law School. While on leave of absence from Yale as a Henry Luce Scholar, he served in Tokyo as special assistant to the Hon. Kakizawa Koji, member of the lower house of Japan’s Diet.
Ambassador Huebner’s spouse of more than 20 years is Duane E. McWaine, MD, also a graduate of Princeton University. Dr. McWaine’s specialty is psychiatry, and he has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical School and served as medical director of the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center while maintaining a private practice.
The Ambassador is an avid fan of rugby and U.S. college football.