Samuel K. Skinner

Samuel K. Skinner

Of Counsel

Samuel K. Skinner Chairs the Chicago Government Law & Policy Practice and has had a career in both the governmental and private sectors. As Of Counsel to the firm, he consults with clients in a variety of areas, including strategizing on complex litigation matters, state and federal regulatory matters, governmental matters, transportation issues, and corporate governance.

Mr. Skinner is the retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of USF Corporation, one of the nation's leading transportation and logistics companies. During each year that he served as CEO, the company was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of America's most admired companies. From 1993-1998 he served as President of Commonwealth Edison Company and its holding company Unicom Corporation (now Exelon), one of the country's largest utilities.

Prior to joining Commonwealth Edison, Mr. Skinner served as Chief of Staff to President George H. W. Bush. As Chief of Staff, he coordinated the activities of numerous cabinet departments and administrative agencies reporting to the President. Prior to his White House Service, he served in the President's Cabinet for nearly three years as Secretary of Transportation. In that capacity, he served as Chief Executive Officer of a Department with a budget of more than $30 billion and a workforce of 105,000 people. As Secretary, Mr. Skinner was credited with numerous successes, including the development of the President's National Transportation Policy and the development and passage of landmark aviation and surface transportation legislation. He also developed our country's "Open Skies" policy which liberalized U.S. international aviation policy and significantly increased the number of international flights to and from the U.S. In addition, Mr. Skinner acted as the President's point person in numerous crisis situations, including the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Eastern Airlines strike, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the northern California earthquake, Hurricane Hugo, and the 1991 national rail strike. Washingtonian magazine twice gave Mr. Skinner its highest ranking for his performance as Secretary of Transportation and he has also received numerous awards from the transportation industry.

Mr. Skinner has spent more than 50 years in the legal profession. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford appointed him the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, one of the few career prosecutors ever to hold that position. In this position, he managed one of the Department of Justice's largest and most respected field offices. While in the U.S. Attorney's office, Mr. Skinner investigated and successfully litigated various complex financial fraud, official corruption, and civil rights cases, including the trial of United States Circuit Judge Otto Kerner. He also was in private practice at two large Chicago law firms where he held positions of leadership.

While practicing law, Mr. Skinner also served as Chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority of northeastern Illinois, the nation's second largest mass transportation district. In this capacity, he developed the RTA's first strategic plan that was used as a blueprint for a multi-billion dollar service expansion and capital development program.

Upon graduation from college, Mr. Skinner held various sales and management positions with the IBM Corporation where he was selected as one of their three Outstanding Salesmen of the Year Nationwide in 1967.

Mr. Skinner has also taught as Adjunct Professor of Management and Strategy at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

In 2005, Mr. Skinner was appointed by President George W. Bush to be a member of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission. The Commission was charged with making determinations regarding which of the nation's more than 400 military facilities would remain active and which were to be closed.

Concentrations

  • Government
  • Litigation
  • Transportation
  • Corporate governance
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Capabilities

Experience

  • United States Army Reserve, 1958-1968
  • Lieutenant and Tank Platoon Leader, United States Army, 1960-1961
  • Honor Graduate, U.S. Army Armor Officers Basic Course, Fort Knox, Kentucky, 1960
  • Illinois Army National Guard, 1956-1958

Recognition & Leadership

  • Recipient, Order of Lincoln Award, 2017
  • Listed,The Best Lawyers in America, Government Relations Practice, 2012-2018
  • "Lawyer of the Year" in Government Relations Practice, 2016
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Illinois Super Lawyers, 2005-2017
  • Listed, Leading Lawyers Network, 2006-2017
  • Among the Top 100 Business Lawyers in Illinois, 2010
  • Recipient, Transportation Research Forum's President's Award
  • Recipient, numerous honorary degrees
  • Listed, "Who's Who in Chicago Business," Crain's Chicago Business
  • Team Member, a U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Government Relations Law Firm of the Year," 2014
    • Ranked, Tier 1 – Government Relations, Chicago Metropolitan Area
  • Recipient, Boy Scouts of America's Distinguished Eagle Scout Award
  • Recipient, Boy Scouts of America's Silver Buffalo Award (Scouting's highest award)
  • Received student pilot's license in 1957 and is a jet-certified pilot
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5

AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission, 2005-2006
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Echo Global Logistics, Inc.
  • Member, Board of Directors, Chicago Board Options Exchange
    • Regulatory Oversight and Compensation Committees
  • Member, Board of Directors, MedAssets, Inc.
    • Governance and Compensation Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, Express Scripts, Inc.
    • Compliance Governance Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, Navigant Consulting, Inc.
  • Member, Board of Visitors, Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University
  • Member, The Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council
  • Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Virgin America Airlines
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Management and Strategy, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2003-2008
  • Former Adjunct Professor, John Marshall Law School
  • Former Lecturer, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy
  • Past Distinguished Lecturer and Holder of the Poling Chair, Government and Business, Indiana University Kelley School of Business
  • Member, numerous charitable/not-for-profit organizations

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1966
    • DePaul Law Review
    • Named Outstanding Alumnus
  • B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1960
    • Named Outstanding Alumnus
Admissions
  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit