Samar Ali serves as a Director with Lodestone Advisory Group. She supports clients with international engagements, business development and market entry. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Vanderbilt University. Samar is a practicing attorney with the law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC, where she concentrates on cross border transactions, international law and private diplomacy.
Samar was most recently nominated as a member of the Leadership Nashville Class of 2013-2014; as a 2012 U.S. delegate to the U.S. - Italy Young Leaders Summit; and as a U.S. delegate to the World Islamic Economic Forum. Samar also serves on the following boards: the Vanderbilt Alumni Board, the Vanderbilt Law School Board of Trust, the International Business Council of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors to the St. Thomas Medical Center, and the Women in Numbers Junior Board, and the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Society, Law and Art in South Africa. Samar is also involved with Beats, Rhymes and Relief, an initiative that supports international relief organizations working in conflict-torn areas.
Previously, Samar served as the Assistant Commissioner for International Affairs to Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s administration in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD). In this position, she was tasked with managing Tennessee’s global relations through the establishment of ECD’s International Division; creating ECD’s Five-Year International Strategy for job growth amongst small- and medium-size businesses; working with Tennessee entrepreneurs to expand their access to global opportunities; and opening and managing investment recruitment and export development offices in key locations around the world.
Before joining ECD, Samar served as a White House Fellow in President Barack Obama’s administration and worked closely with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, where she focused on both foreign and domestic policy issues relating to national security in the US, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. In this position, she also co-led the 2010 White House Fellows Delegation to China and served in an advisory position on the White House Arab-American Kitchen Cabinet to the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Immediately following this appointment, Samar joined President Jimmy Carter on an International Election Monitor Delegation to witness the Presidential Elections in Egypt.
Prior to her receiving the White House Fellowship, she was an Associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP’s Washington, D.C. office where she was responsible for counseling clients on mergers & acquisitions, Shariah compliant transactions, cross-border transactions, finance and international business matters. During her time with Hogan Lovells, she was also a founding member of the firm’s Middle East office located in the United Arab Emirates and served on the firm’s Recruitment Committee. Samar clerked for The Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for The Honorable Edwin Cameron, now of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, where she also worked extensively on editing his book, Witness to AIDS.
Samar received a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and a B.S. in Political Science with Honors from Vanderbilt University, where she served as student body president.