Tom Collier is a partner in the Washington firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he is a member of the Regulatory & Industry Affairs Department. He practices in the dispute resolution, environmental, and natural resources areas.
Tom served as the Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Interior until July 1, 1995. In that position, he assisted the Secretary in formulating Departmental priorities and in organizing the Department to accomplish those priorities. He also chaired Department staff meetings and coordinated the efforts of the Assistant Secretaries.
Prior to his recent government service, he was a partner at Steptoe in Washington focusing on dispute resolution, environmental law, government procurement law, and white-collar criminal defense work. His practice over the years has concentrated on finding unique ways to resolve disputes and on management of large protracted litigation in the following areas: environmental, insurance defense, antitrust, communications, and government contracts.
He graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in 1972, where he was President of the Student Body, and from the University of Mississippi with a J.D. in 1975, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.
He began working at Steptoe in 1976, following a clerkship for Judge Charles Clark of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 1979, he left private practice to work at the Department of Housing and Urban Development where he became a Deputy Assistant Secretary. He returned to Steptoe in 1981. His law practice and his government work both helped develop his management and motivational skills. His practice often focuses on bringing adversaries together to resolve their differences.