Charles Wainman Burson was a legal counsel and Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States under Al Gore. He assumed the position of legal counsel from Kumiki Gibson in February 1997 after serving almost a decade as Tennessee Attorney General. In 1999 Charles Burson became Gore’s Chief of Staff, replacing Ron Klain who resigned in August of that year.
Before joining the White House, Charles Burson held a variety of public and private roles. From 1970 until 1988, he worked in private practice as a lawyer. He briefly flirted with active politics in 1978 when he lost a race to Republican Ed Williams for the East Memphis seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 1988 he was appointed the Tennessee Attorney General. In this capacity, Burson served on a number of public legal bodies. He was a member of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, of the Tennessee Code Commission and of the Commission on the Future of the Judicial System. Burson also represented the state several times before the Supreme Court of the United States. One notable case he argued was Burson v. Freeman, which established a state’s ability to regulate election advertising on voting day.
After his time in the White House, Burson served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to the global agribusiness corporation, Monsanto. He presently resides in St. Louis, Missouri and teaches at the Washington University School of Law.more » « less