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Michael George DeSombre

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Michael George DeSombre
Born(1968-06-13)June 13, 1968
United States
🏡 ResidenceHong Kong, China
🏳️ Nationality
🏳️ CitizenshipU.S.A.
🎓 Alma materStanford University (Bachelor of Arts); Stanford University (MA); Harvard Law School (JD).
💼 Occupation
Lawyer, Republican donor, and board member
👔 EmployerSullivan & Cromwell
TitleWorldwide President Republican Overseas, Chairman Save the Children Hong Kong
👩 Spouse(s)Jean DeSombre

Michael George DeSombre is an American lawyer, Republican fundraiser, Cathay Pacific diamond club member, and charitable organisation board member. Born in the United States, DeSombre now resides in Hong Kong with his wife and children. Despite donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and committees, according to media reports during the first two years of the President Donald J. Trump presidency, DeSombre was unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain a position in the administration. DeSombre is worldwide president of Republicans Overseas, which funded a failed lawsuit against the Trump Administration Treasury Department to invalidate the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).

On July 16, 2019 Voice of America's Thai service reported:[1] that the White House will nominate DeSombre to serve as United States ambassador to Thailand.

Golfers Rights[edit]

DeSombre is an ardent defender of a golfer’s right to a speedy retrieval of golf clubs from airport luggage carousels. On November 6, 2013 the South China Morning Post published DeSombre’s public appeal on the topic via a letter to the editor[2]

As a 17-year resident of Hong Kong, and a diamond card holder with Cathay Pacific, I am accustomed to wonderful service at Hong Kong airport and on Cathay flights. Why is it, then, that whenever I return to Hong Kong with a set of golf clubs, I need to wait an extra 20 or 30 minutes to retrieve them from the oversized luggage location? Many airports, such as Incheon, South Korea, deliver the clubs on the same carousel as normal luggage and almost all airports deliver them more efficiently than Hong Kong. Can this please be fixed?

Progressive Reform Proposals[edit]

On February 19, 2013 DeSombre circulated to Republicans in Hong Kong proposals to introduce a path to citizenship for low skilled immigrants, outreach to Asian Americans, and pro-abortion policies into Republican politics.


WHEREAS, The core message of the Republican Party of small government, business promotion and national security appeals deeply to a majority of Americans;

WHEREAS, Women represent approximately 51% of the voting age population in the United States;

WHEREAS, Americans of Hispanic ancestry represent approximately 14% of the voting age population of the United States;

WHEREAS, Americans of Asian ancestry represent approximately 5% of the voting age population of the United States and are historically strong fiscal conservatives; and

WHEREAS, in the 2012 Presidential Election, Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President, received less than 44% of the vote from Women, less than 27% of the vote from Hispanic Americans and less than 26% of the vote from Asian Americans;

NOW, THEREFORE, in order to increase the support of the Republican Party among Women, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans, we propose the following for consideration by the Republican National Committee:

1. The Republican Party should support legal immigration for low skilled workers from other Western hemisphere allied nations through a guest worker program that will provide for the right to work in the United States in designated industries for fixed periods and which will provide a path to citizenship based upon certain criteria to be determined;

2. The Republican Party should support significant increased legal immigration for college educated and/or highly skilled immigrants from any country around the world; and

3. The Republican Party should engage in significant outreach to the Asian American community to greatly increase Asian American membership and participation in leadership roles in the Party and ensure that foreign policy positions in relation to China do not result in Chinese Americans feeling unwelcome in the Republican Party.

4. Roe v. Wade is the (long-settled) law of the land – Republican candidates for office should avoid express any views regarding abortion or indicate any interest in mandating any change to Roe v. Wade or selecting judges based on their views or likelihood of overturning Roe v. Wade.

Michael George DeSombre, Chairman


In the 2016 Republican platform, delegates not only promised a wall along the southern border; they also decided to replace the term “illegal immigrants” with the more pejorative, dehumanizing epithet “illegal aliens.”[3]

The Republican platform pro life language codified what abortion supporters deemed to be one of the most extreme pro life positions ever accepted by the Republican party.[4]

According to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund exit poll, Trump won just 18 percent of the Asian American vote.[5]

Republican voters rejected the policies advocated by DeSombre when Trump was elected by an overwhelming electoral college margin[6] in the 2016 presidential election.

Fundraiser for Jeb Bush Failed Presidential Campaign[edit]

DeSombre attempted to mobilise wealthy expatriate U.S. citizens to attend a September 2015 fundraiser in Hong Kong for Jeb Bush’s eventual failed 2016 presidential campaign. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, DeSombre described the candidate and atmosphere:

"Jeb was energised, passionate and is a really charismatic guy. It was a very entertaining 45 minutes".[7]

At the time, eventual Republican Party nominee and now President Donald J. Trump had already labelled Jeb Bush as “low energy”.[8]

Republicans Overseas Opposition to Trump[edit]

The mission of the DeSombre-led Republicans Overseas is “To inspire the nine million Americans living overseas to engage more fully in the U.S. democratic political process through the provision of briefings, policy research and advocacy.”[9]

However, in 2016, the year of the United States presidential election, Republicans Overseas Incorporated reported on its Form 990-EZ filed with the Internal Revenue Service spending only US$30,850. [10]

After Donald J. Trump accepted the Republican Party nomination, Dr Jan Halper-Hayes, a vice-president of the DeSombre-led Republicans Overseas, told the BBC's Today programme that she was "very concerned" about Mr Trump's behaviour:

"I think there is an element of him that truly is psychologically unbalanced, and I feel very guilty for saying this because I'm a Republican and I want the Republican ticket to win," she said. "But Donald is out of control right now and he's not listening to anyone."[11]

Trump Administration Nomination[edit]

In 2017, the Trump Administration considered DeSombre for the post of assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, but DeSombre, a top overseas Republican fundraiser, lost his main advocate when President Trump fired his first chief of staff, Reince Priebus.[12]

DeSombre donated US$25,000 to Trump’s inauguration.[13]

However, donors to the inaugural who were eventually nominated for positions in the Trump Administration typically donated much larger amounts; ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Wood Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets donated $1 million to the inauguration, Joseph Craft III, president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, donated $1 million to the inauguration and his wife, Kelly Knight Craft, became U.S. ambassador to Canada, and Doug Manchester, owner of Manchester Financial Group donated $1 million to the inauguration and was nominated as U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas. [14]

Ambassador to Thailand[edit]

On July 16, 2019 Voice of America's Thai service reported[1] that the White House will nominate DeSombre to serve as United States ambassador to Thailand.

Save the Children[edit]

DeSombre serves as chairman[15] of Save the Children Hong Kong, which raises funds to support programmes in China and other countries. Save the Children has been mired in allegations that it failed to investigate claims of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by the United Kingdom charity’s former chief executive, Justin Forsyth, and former policy director, Brendan Cox.[16] A female charity worker who worked under Cox and Forsyth claims the 'brutal bullying culture' and sexual harassment at the organisation was like a sketch from 'The Thick Of It'.[17]

Failed FATCA Lawsuit[edit]

Republicans Overseas has funded a lawsuit, Crawford, et al. vs. US Department of Treasury, et al., to challenge FATCA. In April 2018, the Supreme Court denied “certiorari” to the plaintiffs,[18] which left standing a Sixth Circuit decision handed down in August 2017 – which, as reported, found that the plaintiffs lacked the standing to sue, and that the harms they claimed to have suffered as a result of the law were not, in fact, directly caused by it – is final.

Although the decision won’t come as a surprise to many FATCA watchers, who have seen the difficulties the plaintiffs in the case have encountered over the years they’ve been battling the law that obliges non-US financial institutions to report to the US tax authorities on all offshore accounts held by American citizens, it was nevertheless a crushing disappointment to expatriates who had relied on Republicans Overseas claims that expatriates would at least get another day in court to argue their case.[18]

FATCA was signed into law in 2010 in the wake of the global financial crisis, as an attempt by the US to target the undeclared offshore accounts of Americans, many of whom had been found to be making use of bank accounts in places like Switzerland to avoid their US tax obligations.[18]

Republicans Overseas previously operated a fundraising website, fatcalegalaction.com, to appeal for public donations to finance the lawsuit. The website is currently not operating and it is unclear how the funds were spent.

Tax Cut & Jobs Act Negative Impact on Expatriates[edit]

Although the overseas Americans community is approximately nine million persons, a petition effort launched by Republicans Overseas to achieve tax reform for overseas Americans resulted in DeSombre delivering only 1,744 petitions to the White House Associate Political Director on October 2, 2017. [19]

DeSombre was unable to successfully lobby Republicans in Congress to include Republicans Overseas proposed language in the Tax Cut & Jobs Act[20] passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. Not only did the Tax Cut & Jobs Act fail to replace citizenship-based taxation with Territorial Taxation for Individuals (though it did for corporations), it also failed to repeal FATCA, and, imposed significant new tax burdens[21] on overseas Americans who own small businesses outside the United States.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "'ทรัมป์' เสนอชื่อนักกฎหมายผู้เชี่ยวชาญธุรกิจในเอเชียเป็นทูตสหรัฐฯ ประจำไทยคนใหม่". Voice of America Thai. Retrieved 2019-07-16.
  2. "Pointless wait for golf clubs at airport". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  3. "Why Republicans New Anti-Immigrant Platform Likely Spells Doom For Them". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  4. "Republican Platform Riddle With Conservative Myths". Rewire. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  5. "Trump Lost More of the Asian American Vote Than The National Exit Polls Showed". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  6. "Presidential Election Results 2016". CNN.com. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  7. "Wealthy Hong Kong donors answer call of US Republican presidential hopefuls". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  8. "Donald Trump is constantly repeating this Jeb Bush zinger". Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  9. "About Republicans Overseas". Republicans Overseas. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  10. "Internal Revenue Service". IRS. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  11. "US election 2016: Republican divisions grow over Trump". BBC. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  12. "Top admiral in Pacific under consideration for Australia envoy". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  13. "Trump 2017 Inaugural Contributions". Opensecrets.org. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  14. "Trump Donors One Year Later". Opensecrets.org. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  15. "Save the Children Hong Kong". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  16. "Save the Children Accused of Being Part of Cosy Boys Club". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  17. "Ex Save the Children Worker Reveals Texts". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Supreme Court Declines to Hear FATCA Case". International Investment. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  19. "Yue and DeSombre Deliver TTFI Letters and Petitions". Republicans Overseas. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  20. "Tax Cut & Jobs Act". United States Congress. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  21. "Living Abroad Isn't So Idyllic for U.S. Expats Facing New Taxes". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-04-01.

External links[edit]

Nominee for US Ambassador to Thailand[edit]

This article "Michael George DeSombre" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Michael George DeSombre. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.

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