Stephen D. Gardner

Chief Counsel

Stephen D. Gardner photo

Steve Gardner is Chief Counsel for the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of the General Counsel. CLDP improves the legal environment for business worldwide by providing training and consultative services to countries in economic transition. CLDP assistance supports transformational diplomacy by helping countries revise and update their laws, regulations and business practices in a manner that encourages market-driven trade and investment.

Mr. Gardner began his service at CLDP in May of 1997, when he assumed responsibility for CLDP's programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Over the following years, he launched CLDP's activities throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.  He currently directs all of CLDP's programs worldwide. He has played a key role in both designing and managing technical assistance strategies on the full range of issues that CLDP addresses, including implementing WTO and FTA commitments, protecting intellectual property rights, building judicial capacity, updating procurement systems, promoting government ethics, and developing product standards.

Mr. Gardner's professional background includes clerking for a District of Columbia Superior Court judge, managing a Central Asia joint venture investment project for Agricultural Cooperative Development International, working for Debevoise & Plimpton in Budapest, Hungary, on project finance and privatization projects and assisting Gordon & Glickson with legal issues regarding information technology and telecommunications.

Prior to joining CLDP, Mr. Gardner earned his LL.M. (with distinction) in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center in May of 1997. Mr. Gardner received his law degree in 1991 from Washington College of Law of The American University, where he was a Notes & Comments Editor for The American University Law Review. He also holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance, Investment and Banking, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Upcoming Programs

CLDP in Action

October 30, 2017 - November 3, 2017

CLDP’s Michael Cofield and Yulia Melara facilitated U.S.-based Consultations on certification levels in procurement training on October 30 through November 3, 2017, in Washington, D.C. by hosting five delegates from the Training Center within the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic for visits and discussions with U.S. government, commercial, and academic providers of procurement training, as well as with practitioners involved in implementing public-private partnerships in the U.S. regarding procurement training, certification levels, and related matters.

Read More about U.S. Consultations on the Government Procurement for 5 delegates from the Training Center within the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic