Beijing, China (PressExposure) July 08, 2009 -- The American Citizens Abroad (ACA; ttp://www.aca.ch/) association traditionally places considerable efforts to support the US residential community in China. ACA Chairman, Mr Edward Lehman ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Lehman] ), a US citizen and US attorney, is the longest serving foreigner in China and the only foreign managing director of Chinese law firm, Lehman, Lee & Xu (http://www.lehmanlaw.com/ ). He first practiced in Shanghai in 1987, working for a renowned "pioneer" US law firm, switching then to a state-run Chinese law firm -- being the first foreign national to do so -- then choosing to remain in China in the early 1990s when foreign law firms were instead swimming back to Hong Kong or to their own countries citing security concerns. In 1992, he co-founded his Lehman, Lee & Xu, one of the first eight private law firms to be set-up after the liberalization of the legal profession in the early '90s.
The 2009 Thomas Jefferson award has been assigned by the ACA to Ms Anne-Marie Cassela and Mr Mark Storella ([http://www.us-mission.ch/BIOS/MarkStorellaText.html] ), US citizens residing in Haiti and Switzerland, who have both greatly contributed to the benefit of their local American community. Ms Cassela -- Head of the American Citizens Services in Port-au-Prince, Haiti -- has dealt with a considerable number of natural disasters and kidnapping situations, showing care for victims and their families and highlighting outstanding efficiency in her duties. Geneva-based Mr Storella, Charge d'Affaires and Deputy Permanent Representative at the US mission, has been doing an impressive job in coordinating activities and meetings for overseas Americans. His exemplary methods are now being proposed to be adopted by US diplomatic missions all over the world.
Chairman of the ACA, Edward Lehman, a representative of the US community in China, expresses full support for Cassela and Storella commenting that "the examples given by Anne-Marie and Mark are the reflection of the mission we should all serve as US citizens abroad, that of solidarity to our people and devotion to our country. We look forward to having candidates for the next edition of the award from the US Embassy in China as we did in the previous years".
Edward Lehman certainly plays an important role as a representative of a US citizen in China. It is a fact that he has been living here longer than any other person from any of the US diplomatic missions in China, serving on the board of governors of Amcham and participating in key negotiations with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of US citizens and businesses. Lehman has also been closely relating with the US Charge d'Affaires Dan Piccuta in these recent years.
As Managing Director of Lehman, Lee & Xu -- the third largest Chinese law firm in China -- he has coupled his role of an American citizens community organizer at the ACA, with that of a representative of the US Embassy in Beijing (http://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/ ) and US diplomatic missions in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenyang and Wuhan over the last 23 years. Additionally, he was the official counsel and representative of the US Olympic team at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. When asked to provide his thoughts about China's progress in the protections of foreigners' rights, Edward proudly said that "at the ACA we are committed in promoting the rule of law in China" and seems satisfied when noting that "we believe that the Chinese government is doing a fine job to make that happen".