IREX announces new advisory council member
IREX is pleased to announce that James Cicconi, a distinguished executive with a wealth of experience spanning corporate, governmental, and international sectors, has joined the Global Advisory Council. Cicconi brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic insight garnered from an illustrious career and his wealth of experience makes him an invaluable addition to the Global Advisory Council.
"I am thrilled to welcome Jim to our Global Advisory Council. As we continue to navigate an ever-evolving global landscape, having him on board is a true privilege. His wealth of experience in corporate leadership and government service adds tremendous value to our Global Advisory Council. We look forward to working together to promote a just, prosperous, and inclusive world," said IREX President and CEO, Kristin Lord.
James Cicconi retired in 2016 after an 18-year tenure with AT&T, culminating in 11 years as senior executive vice president, External and Legislative Affairs. In this role, he oversaw the company’s global public policy organization and the AT&T Foundation. He joined AT&T in 1998 as general counsel and executive vice president-Law and Government Affairs, and he continued with the company after the merger between SBC Communications and AT&T Corporation in November 2005. At the request of the chairman and board of directors, he returned to AT&T as a consultant in late 2019, contributing his expertise to various urgent corporate matters.
Cicconi’s extensive career includes service in the White House under two presidents. He spent two years as deputy to the chief of staff for President George H.W. Bush, overseeing the decision-making process and managing the president's schedule. Additionally, he served for four years as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, focusing on policy matters under Chief of Staff James A. Baker, III. Prior to his White House roles, Cicconi held positions such as administrative assistant to the governor of Texas and general counsel to the Texas secretary of state.
Cicconi played a significant role in presidential election campaigns, serving as the senior issues advisor to President Bush in 1988 and 1992. He coordinated the drafting of party platforms and assisted in debate preparation for the Republican presidential nominee in 1988, 1992, and 1996. He was also part of the transition staffs for President-elect Bush and Secretary of State-designate James A. Baker III in 1988.
Currently, Cicconi serves as the vice chairman of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation (now the George & Barbara Bush Foundation), a position he has held since the Foundation’s inception. He is also a member of the University of Texas at Austin Development Board. Previously, he held directorships at El Paso Electric, the National Archives Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the United States Telecom Association, and the American Council on Germany. He served as a trustee of the Brookings Institution as well as a member of the Association of General Counsel and the Board of Governors of Ford’s Theatre.
Earlier in his career, Cicconi was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, specializing in administrative and regulatory law, federal legislation, and handling significant transactions for corporate clients. He was appointed by President Reagan to the Review Advisory Committee for UNESCO (1985-88) and by President Bush to the Administrative Conference of the United States (1990-92). His involvement in international matters led to his role as a U.S. delegate to the Madrid meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. During the Obama Administration, he served on the Department of Commerce’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors. Cicconi also played a pivotal role in the Navy’s commissioning of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in 2009, chairing the Finance Committee.
Cicconi earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the State Bar of Texas, and in 2008, he received the Legends in the Law Award from the Burton Foundation for his work as general counsel of AT&T.
Cicconi is married with three daughters and resides in McLean, Virginia.