David Fishman was a kind, intelligent, inquisitive, and sociable man with a wonderful sense of humor. He was also a passionate champion of world peace. Born May 24, 1947 in New York City to Alfred and Marsha Fishman, David attended Fieldston Ethical Culture School, Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, MIT, and University of San Francisco Law School.
David was admitted to the Bar in 1977. He practiced labor law litigation, arbitration, and contract negotiations, representing management for the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Postal Service and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and later represented labor unions and workers.
Participation in the Soros-American Bar Association Program in 1991, was a turning point after which he shifted focus to Russian and Ukrainian rule of law and strategies to improve US-Russia relations. He married Mari Clarke on December 18, 1996. Over the years, he traveled with Mari to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, and Russia.
David consulted on business law and rule of law for various organizations such as the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the U.S. Free Trade Institute, the American Bar Association (ABA), George Washington University Law School, and the American Councils for International Education. This included work for the Innovation Working Group for the Obama-Medvedev Bilateral Presidential Commission with the ABA. He was a Research Associate at the George Washington University Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Affairs, a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He was active in the ABA Section of International Law where he served as Vice Chair of the Russia-Eurasia Law Committee. He also served on the Board of the Friendship Force National Capital Area Club, and acted as Co-chair of the Washington DC Society for International Development Eurasia Working Group.
Most recently, he was very active in Rotary International Peace initiatives, building an extensive network of peace colleagues in Rotary and other organizations. He served on the Board of the Rotary International Action Group for Peace. He earned a “Rotary International Award – Five Avenues of Service” from the Rotary Club of Alexandria Virginia and a “Certificate of Excellence” for his leadership of the International Peace working group of the Rotary Club of Washington DC. In November 2022, he participated in a conference focused on his vision for a peace partnership between Rotary and George Mason University Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at the George Mason Point of View Peace Conference Center in Lorton Virginia, launching an initiative to make that vision a reality. He worked very hard on that initiative until his last days. We lost him to metastatic pancreatic cancer on January 16, 2023, much too young and a great loss to us all.
To make a donation to the Rotary-Carter School Collaboration for Peace Fund, to help sustain David’s vision and legacy in supporting international peace-building in this challenging world, copy and use the link below:
Donation link: https://advancement.gmu.edu/23CARDFI