Deborah Lehr is the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of the Paulson Institute. In that capacity, she advises the Chairman on U.S.–China relations as well as oversees the development and implementation of Paulson Institute programs and initiatives. In addition, Ms. Lehr manages the Green Finance Center for the Paulson Institute.
Ms. Lehr has served in the public, private and not for profit sectors focused on China, the Middle East and emerging markets. She advised Mr. Paulson when he was the CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs and helped then-Treasury Secretary Paulson to create and launch the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue.
In addition, she served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch and was a Senior Managing Director at the New York Stock Exchange. Ms. Lehr has built several successful consulting businesses, including as a partner at Mayer Brown, a top-10 law firm, as President of Stonebridge China and then with her own firm, Basilinna. Basilinna is focused on China and the Middle East.
Ms. Lehr also served in the U.S. Government in the Executive Office of the President as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China, where she was a lead negotiator for China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, for two intellectual property rights negotiations and on the team for the 1992 Market Access Agreement. Also, Ms. Lehr was one of the youngest Directors of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. Previous to that, she was involved in export control and trade policy issues at the Department of Commerce.
As the Founder and Chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, she works with governments around the world to fight against the illicit trade in antiquities. She serves on the International Advisory Board of the London School of Economics, the World Monuments Fund Board and the Middle East Institute Board. Ms. Lehr is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. UNESCO listed Ms. Lehr on its inaugural list of accomplished global women. She also received the prestigious Hadrian Award from the World Monument Fund for her work in fighting the illicit trade in antiquities.
Ms. Lehr has lived and studied around the world, including China, England, France, and Germany. Her writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Foreign Affairs, South China Morning Post, U.S. News and World Report, Caixin Magazine, and Xinhua.net, among others.