Strategic Advisor with DLA Piper
George R. Salem established the Law Offices of George R. Salem, PLLC in
January 2005. In November 2005 he entered into a relationship as Strategic
Advisor with DLA Piper, where he is focused on assisting in the development of
DLA Piper's Middle East and US Department of Labor practices.
From 1990-2004, Mr. Salem was a partner at the law firm of Akin, Gump,
Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP, where he headed that firm's Middle East and
During the course of his career, Mr. Salem has negotiated some of the most
significant settlements in the field of labor law, among them the resolution of all
pending ERISA cases against the Teamsters' Central States Pension Fund, the
E.O. 11246 discrimination case against Harris Trust and Savings Bank, and
several major OSHA and FLSA settlements, including the major FLSA settlement
involving Food Lion.
On behalf of various Middle East clients, Mr. Salem headed the legal teams that
handled the acquisitions of major assets, including refineries in the Middle East.
In addition, he headed the legal team that successfully brought suit against the
Department of Treasury on behalf of the owners of the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical
plant in Sudan that was destroyed by the U.S. Navy.
From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Salem served as the Solicitor of Labor. As the U.S.
Department of Labor’s chief legal officer, he was responsible for enforcing more
than 130 laws that regulate the nation's workplace, including those guaranteeing
minimum wage through the Fair Labor Standards Act, ensuring occupational
safety and health pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and maintaining pension security under the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act. Mr. Salem headed a staff of 850 lawyers and support staff in 13 national
offices and 16 regional and sub-regional offices around the country.
Mr. Salem played key roles in the Reagan-Bush '84, Bush-Quayle '88, and Bush-
Cheney '00 campaigns. In addition, he served as a member of the board of
directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and as chairman of the
Tripartite Advisory Panel on International Labor Standards, the legal arm of the
President's Committee on the International Labor Organization. In 2022 Mr.
Salem was appointed by the Biden Administration’s USAID Administrator as the
inaugural Board Chair of the Partnership for Peace Fund (PPF) Advisory Board, a
bipartisan board established by Congress pursuant to the Middle East Partnership
for Peace Act (MEPPA).
Mr. Salem has written and spoken extensively on labor law and related topics and
has lectured in Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, and Geneva. He is also active in several
professional associations, and is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in
American Law, Who's Who in American Politics, Who's Who in Finance and
Industry, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, The International
Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers, Chambers USA:
America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Washington Super Lawyers and
Corporate Counsel Super Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America. In addition,
he was named by The National Law Journal as one of the top 26 labor lawyers in
the United States. He is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment
Lawyers and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Salem co-founded the Arab American Institute in 1985 and currently serves
as its chairman, and has served as treasurer of United Palestinian Appeal, Inc.
since 1982. He is a past president of the National Association of Arab Americans
and has served on the board of directors of the American-Arab Anti-
Discrimination Committee. In 2003 he was named to the U.S. Advisory
Commission on Public Diplomacy’s Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the
Arab and Muslim World, which was assembled at the request of Congress to
study the State Department’s public diplomacy efforts in these regions. On behalf
of the Bush Administration, Mr. Salem served as an official observer to the
Palestinian elections held in February 2005, and also as President George W.
Bush’s representative to the funeral of Palestinian Authority President Yasser
In 1992 Mr. Salem received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The award is
presented annually to Americans of diverse origins for their outstanding
contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society.