Louis G. Ferrand
Telephone: (202) 458-3903
Fax: (202) 458-3410

Louis G. Ferrand Picture

Mr. Ferrand is the Legal Advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (“OAS”).  He heads the Department of Legal Services which is part of the Office of the Secretary General in Washington, D.C.  He and his Department represent the Secretary General, the OAS Retirement and Pension Committee, and the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in litigation before the OAS Administrative Tribunal and in U. S. courts.   He provides advisory services to OAS officials; serves as a principal negotiator or legal advisor in negotiations with representatives of governments and agencies of OAS member countries and international organizations; serves as a principal negotiator or legal advisor in negotiations with commercial entities; advises on labor relations matters; represents his Office before the OAS governing Councils; and serves as a legal advisor to various specialized organs and other entities of the OAS.

Mr. Ferrand has worked in both the public and private sectors as a chief litigator and as a legal advisor on a wide range of issues involving labor relations, civil rights, mine safety, corporate, contracts, procurement, and public international law.  In addition, at the U.S. Department of Labor, he served as a principal advisor to program heads and he headed and coordinated major regulatory initiatives in equal employment opportunity, discrimination in employment on the basis of handicap, and mine safety and health.

In 1971, he was hired into the Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Justice as a Trial Attorney in the Employment Section of the Civil Rights Division where he successfully tried major cases dealing with discrimination in employment on the basis of race. In 1976, he was recruited by the Solicitor's Office at the U.S. Department of Labor as its Counsel for Civil Rights where he created a successful litigation unit, pioneered enforcement of Executive Order 11246's prohibition of discrimination in employment by U.S. Government contractors (with special emphasis on discrimination in employment on the basis of sex), and headed a major regulatory revision.  He also served as the Labor Department’s Deputy Associate Solicitor for Civil Rights, and later as its Deputy Associate Solicitor for Mine Safety and Health where he successfully negotiated the first unified compliance manual of the Division of Mine Safety's Coal and Metal Sections.

In 1988, he entered private practice as Of Counsel to a Washington, D.C. labor law firm, where he directed the “bail out” of a major sex discrimination in employment case in New York City.

Mr. Ferrand came to the OAS General Secretariat in 1990, where he successfully defended the General Secretariat in a large construction arbitration case.  Previous posts held at the General Secretariat include the positions of Director of the Office of General Legal Services and Deputy General Counsel for General Legal Services, Principal Attorney, and Senior Attorney.

He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he was a Quarter-Finalist in the Law School’s Campbell Moot Court Competition.  He received a B.A. in psychology, Magna Cum Laude, from Alma College in Alma, Michigan.

Prior to beginning his career as a lawyer, he was: a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and Trainer in the Dominican Republic; co-founder and president of the Cornerstone Project, Inc. in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York; and Director of Manpower Programs for the Grand Rapids, Michigan Community Action Program.

Mr. Ferrand served as the elected Secretary General (i.e., Executive Director) of the Inter-American Bar Association (“IABA”) for nine years where he was responsible for the IABA’s administration and its International Conferences and Council meetings.   He also served as a member of the IABA’s Executive Committee and as Editor of the IABA Newsletter.  He is a member of the IABA’s governing Council.  He co-founded the reestablishment of the IABA’s Labor Law and Social Security Committee and served as its Vice-Chair.  He is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Chapter of the Federal Bar Association (“FBA”).  In the FBA, he has served as a Circuit Officer and a National Vice President; Chair of the Federal Career Service Division; President of the D.C. Chapter; National Delegate to the FBA governing Council; and Co-chair of a FBA National Convention.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of various non-profit organizations.

Mr. Ferrand is a founder, Master, and former President of the Federal American Inn of Court in Washington, D.C., and he is a member of the American Law Institute.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and Michigan Bar Associations, the Inter-American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the 5th, 11th, and District of Columbia Circuits.

 Mr. Ferrand is a native of Rockford, Michigan.  He is married to the former Mary Eleanore Braseth of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They have three adult children and one grandchild.