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Stephen D. Gardner

Chief Counsel
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Steve Gardner is Chief Counsel for the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Gardner began his service as an Attorney-Advisor at CLDP in 1997, when he managed programs in several Eastern European countries. During his tenure with CLDP, Mr. Gardner launched programming in countries throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. He has served as Chief Counsel since 2006.

As Chief Counsel, Mr. Gardner directs and provides guidance to all of CLDP's programs worldwide. He plays a key role in designing and managing technical assistance strategies on the full range of issues that CLDP addresses, including, WTO and Free Trade Agreement implementation, protection of intellectual property rights, cybersecurity, government procurement, judicial reform, project finance, sustainable energy, private sector development, government ethics, and investment codes. Additionally, Mr. Gardner sets the professional tone for CLDP’s staff, emphasizing the importance of diplomacy and developing international goodwill through CLDP’s technical assistance.

Prior to joining CLDP, Mr. Gardner earned his LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center in May of 1997. He 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 holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Finance, Investment and Banking, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.