Jeff Bleich serves as the Chief Legal Officer and Chief Risk Officer of Cruise LLC. His legal career has included serving as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House, Special Master for the U.S. District Courts, court-appointed federal mediator, trial and appellate counsel, adjunct professor of law, and a managing partner of two international law firms. He has also served as the chair of multiple corporate boards, including the boards of PG&E Co. and Nuix USG, Inc. Besides these legal and business roles, he served as the 24th U.S. Ambassador to Australia from 2009 to 2013.
After receiving his B.A. in political science, magna cum laude from Amherst College, Bleich earned an M.P.P. from Harvard with highest honors in 1986, and a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law with highest honors in 1989. At Berkeley, he served as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. He clerked for Judge Abner J. Mikva on the D.C. Circuit, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Howard Holtzmann at the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in the Hague.
Bleich was a partner for 17 years at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, in San Francisco, where he specialized in high stakes technology litigation as well as significant pro bono civil rights matters. He was routinely recognized as one of the nation’s top lawyers by Best Lawyers, Law Dragon, and other publications. He holds, or has held, several other leadership positions, including as chair of the Fulbright Board, chair of the California State University Board of Trustees, president of the California State Bar, president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, chair of the ABA’s Amicus Curiae Committee, and president of the Barristers Club of San Francisco. In 1998, he was appointed by then-President Clinton to serve as director of the White House Commission on Youth Violence following the tragic Columbine shootings.
In recognition of his service, Bleich has received some of the nation’s top honors, including the highest awards for a non-career ambassador by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. In 2009, the City of San Francisco named a day in his honor. Bleich holds honorary degrees from San Francisco State University, Griffith University, and Flinders University in Adelaide, which in 2019 established the Bleich Bleich Centre for U.S. Alliance Studies in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance in his name.