Former Undersecretary of Commerce Mario Mancuso Joins Akin Gump in Washington

(Washington, D.C.) — Former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Mario Mancuso has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington, D.C., as a partner in the international corporate transactions practice, the firm announced today. Mr. Mancuso will focus his practice on international corporate, policy and regulatory matters.

Rick L. Burdick, the leader of Akin Gump’s international corporate transactions practice, said, “Mario brings a distinctive combination of attributes to our firm and to our clients: mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance expertise, senior national security and economic policy credentials and experience, and a global strategic vision. He will be an extraordinary resource for our clients, particularly those operating in highly regulated industries such as high technology and telecommunications, defense, aerospace, energy, electronics, chemicals, transportation and infrastructure.”

As undersecretary of commerce for industry and security from 2007 to 2009, Mr. Mancuso was the most senior U.S. government official with direct responsibility for international trade, transaction and investment matters that implicated U.S. national security and foreign policy interests. In this capacity, he led an organization with approximately 400 policy and law enforcement professionals in offices throughout the United States and in China, India, Hong Kong, the U.A.E. and Russia.

Mr. Mancuso played a leading role in the most consequential policy initiatives dealing with the regulation of exports and inbound foreign direct investment. As the lead U.S. government official for dual-use export controls and strategic trade policy and enforcement matters, he identified and opened key export markets for U.S. technology products consistent with U.S. security interests and led the global effort to enforce U.S. export control and the anti-boycott regulations. He also reformed U.S. export control policies and led the international strategic technology dialogues for the United States, including the U.S.-China High Technology and Strategic Trade Working Group, the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group and the U.S.-Israel High Technology Forum.

Mr. Mancuso regularly represented the Department of Commerce in National Security Council Deputies’ Committee meetings on economic and national security matters and played a substantial role in shaping the implementing regulations for the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), which amended the process by which the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) conducts national security reviews of proposed acquisitions of companies in the United States by foreign persons. Mr. Mancuso reviewed approximately 200 CFIUS cases as a regulator and served as an invited member of the CFIUS Advisory Committee and the Global Markets Board of the National Intelligence Council.

“Mario is an accomplished international corporate lawyer, a distinguished former national security and economic policy official, and a former U.S. military officer,” said Anthony T. Pierce, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s Washington office. “With his deep transactional, regulatory and international expertise, he brings a unique perspective to clients seeking to mitigate risk and seize opportunities in the United States and other key markets around the world. His firsthand experience dealing with national security policy considerations that drive export control, sanctions, anti-boycott and CFIUS regulations will complement Akin Gump’s historic strengths in these areas and be of significant value to our clients.”

Before joining Commerce, Mr. Mancuso served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combating terrorism. As the Department of Defense’s senior civilian official with immediate responsibility for its global counterterrorism portfolio, he oversaw policy related to sensitive special operations missions, formulated the department’s global counterterrorism strategy and worked closely with U.S. foreign partners and allies.

Before entering government service, Mr. Mancuso spent a decade in the private sector as a corporate lawyer in New York, Boston and London, advising clients on cross-border M&A transactions and investments around the world.

A former U.S. Army officer and combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Mr. Mancuso is an honors graduate of Harvard University and the New York University School of Law, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a visiting senior fellow for international security at the Hudson Institute.

“I am excited to join Akin Gump,” Mr. Mancuso said. “The firm has a deep reservoir of talent across all the major practice areas; a stellar geographic platform; and a long and compelling history of effective client advocacy in the boardroom, in the courtroom and before government agencies.”

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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