Meet the chief US ACTA negotiator: Kira Alvarez, the Deputy Assistant USTR for IP Enforcement

Kira Alvarez is the Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property Enforcement, and the chief US negotiator for ACTA. According to her Linkedin bio, as late as October 2008, right before the election, she was the Time Warner Vice President for Global Public Policy, and before that, she was a lobbyist for Ely Lilly, the pharmaceutical company. Alvarez also worked for both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, before her stints for Lilly and Time Warner. Note that she took her current job in December 2008, after the election but before the inauguration. Now she is the lead Obama representative for ACTA, reporting to Stan McCoy and Ambassador Kirk at USTR.

According to 2006 lobbyist reports (1,2), while working for Ely Lilly, Kira lobbied on the following issues:

International Trade Issues — Oman Fta, Peru Fta, Access In Saudi, Poland Price Cut, Broad Market Access In Developed Countries, Korea FTA, General China And India Issues

International Trade Issues — Peru FTA, Poland Price Cut, Germany Jumbo Groups, Japan Pricing & Regulatory Reform, Korea FTA, Russia WTO

Intellectual Property, Patent Reform (S3818).

Kira Alarvez Bio (From the Linkedin)

Deputy Assistant USTR for IP Enforcement
US Trade Representative
(Government Agency; International Trade and Development industry)

December 2008 — Present (7 months)
Chief Negotiator for IP Enforcement issues, especially with respect to China and Russia.

Vice President, Global Public Policy

Time Warner
(Public Company; TWX; Entertainment industry)
May 2007 — October 2008 (1 year 6 months)
Responsible for all international and tax-related issues for Time Warner and its Divisions;
Successfully advocated for passage of the tax provisions in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that saved the company and estimated $75 million in taxes in 2008.
Co-chair of the International Section of the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center

Director, International Government Affairs
Eli Lilly
(Public Company; 10,001 or more employees; LLY; Pharmaceuticals industry)
August 2003 — May 2007 (3 years 10 months)
Developed and implemented government affairs strategies for company-specific and industry-wide issues in the Western Hemisphere, Africa, and the Middle East.
Developed and implemented government affairs strategies related to international intellectual property policy.

Co-chair, US Business Coalition advocating for passage of the US-Peru FTA.

Director for Intellectual Property Affairs
Office of the US Trade Representative
(International Trade and Development industry)
July 2000 — August 2003 (3 years 2 months)
Lead US negotiator for the IPR chapters in the US-Chile FTA, US-Morocco FTA, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)

Lead US negotiator for IPR in the negotiations to create the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Coordinated and drafted USTR’s annual Special 301 review of IPR protection around the world

U.S. Department of Commerce
(Government Agency; 10,001 or more employees; International Trade and Development industry)
1994 — 1999 (5 years)

Georgetown University
MSFS , 1990 — 1994
Georgetown University Law Center
JD , International Law , 1990 — 1994
Ford Foundation Fellow, 1991 and 1992

Activities and Societies:
Current Developments Editor, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal

Harvard University
AB, cum laude , Government , 1986 — 1990
Activities and Societies:
Editor in Chief, Harvard International Review

from an April 2006 press release on the US/Peru FTA:

“This is a high-standard agreement that will create valuable opportunities for American business and farmers,” said Kira Alvarez, Director, International Government Affairs at Eli Lilly. “It will safeguard investment, open services markets, and enhance transparency in business and government.”

From an April 22, 2009, FPC Briefing, Foreign Press Center, Washington, DC: Green Innovation: Can Patents Help Make the World a Better Place? featuring:

Dr. Isi Siddiqui, Vice President, Crop Life International
Rob Shapiro, Chair of EcoIDEA: Innovation Drives Energy Advances; and
Kira M. Alvarez, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Chief Negotiator for Intellectual Property Enforcement

QUESTION: Right. Stephen Alsman, Danish Economics Weekly. Could you describe what are the problems with the current situation regarding patents today, and what would the implications be — the current problems with — there must be some problems with the current situation, because we’re talking about it.

MODERATOR: Yes. Dr. Alvarez, perhaps you could address that.

DR. ALVAREZ: I don’t think there are any problems. I personally don’t think there are any problems with the patent system. But I think there have been claims that the patents, the current patent system might stand in the way of the dissemination of green technology. And that’s why I was pointing out that it’s not actually the case, because the patent system, because it does actually require the inventor to publish all the information, and disclose all the information, that actually helps to build the body of knowledge about these technologies.

And I think there have also been criticisms, or there have been concerns expressed, that this is going to be another situation where developed countries are going to have the lead, and going to sort of hold patents sort of — hold them over the developing countries, and developing countries are not going to be able to access this technology, because the inventors and the innovators in the developed countries are not going to sort of want that, that technology, free disseminated.

And I think that’s why I tried point out that there’s a myth, because a lot of this technology is held all around the world. There is no particular country that has a leading edge here right now. And I pointed out, again, that China and India are some of the leading innovators in the system.

So, I was just trying to help dispel some misconceptions that are out there. I personally don’t think there are any current problems.