Samar Ali to Join Vanderbilt University Political Science and Law School Faculties, Co-Chair Project on Unity & American Democracy

January 15, 2021
Firm News

Bass, Berry & Sims congratulates attorney Samar Ali who has joined the faculties of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School. In this new role, Samar will serve as a research professor in political science and law, with a focus on international law and conflict resolution. Additionally, she will co-chair The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy alongside former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Pulitzer-Prize-winning presidential biographer Jon Meacham.

“Samar brings innovative, diverse, international perspectives to her work that will enhance the university’s mission of discovery, learning, and service. We are thrilled to have her join our faculty and advance national conversations on pressing issues facing our community and the world,” said John G. Geer, the Ginny and Conner Searcy Dean of the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt University, and a professor of political science.

The Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy aims to strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions by advancing evidence-based research in the national discourse on unity. According to the University’s press release, the project will regularly disseminate original scholarly content aimed at supplying policymakers and the public with the tools needed to restore a more unified commitment to the nonpartisan foundations of American democracy.

“While we are sad Samar will be leaving our firm, we are thrilled she will be advancing the work of strengthening our American democracy. This is a tenet we strive to uphold in our law practice and in our public service work as we pursue systemic change to eradicate the root causes of legal, social, and economic inequalities,” said Todd Rolapp, Bass, Berry & Sims’ managing partner.

Samar joined Bass, Berry & Sims in 2016 where she assists clients with international business operations from both Nashville, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. She has had an extensive legal background, having worked in high-level roles across the globe, including establishing a law firm’s Middle Eastern presence in the United Arab Emirates, working as a White House Fellow during President Barack Obama’s administration, serving as a third-party mediator for Syria, and managing Tennessee’s global relations efforts as Assistant Commissioner of International Affairs to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, among others.

Samar will take a leave of absence from the firm to join the Vanderbilt faculty. To read the full announcement about Samar’s new position, click here. To read about the Vanderbilt Project of Unity and American Democracy, click here.