With the unique experience of re-writing U.S. export control laws and serving within government, Christopher Stagg provides critical insight and counsel to 100+ companies and organizations on complex and high-stakes issues involving export controls, economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and matters before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
He is frequently engaged as a lawyer of "last resort" to reverse adverse government actions, as well as primary resort to provide practical guidance. For example, a major defense prime turned to Mr. Stagg to develop a novel legal strategy that successfully resolved a high-stakes export controls matter with the U.S. Government, which if not immediately resolved would have suspended critical global engagements.
Mr. Stagg was previously a Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), where he re-wrote U.S. export control regulations involving the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including the U.S. Munitions List and Commerce Control List, and held leadership roles in providing interpretative guidance, handling highly-contested commodity jurisdiction cases, and advising the Federal Bureau of Investigation on export enforcement and national security investigations.
Additionally, Mr. Stagg worked on the interagency committees chaired by the National Security Council to identify products and technologies that implicate national security concerns for export control and CFIUS purposes.
As DDTC's deputy lead for implementing Export Control Reform, Christopher was involved in revising every category of the U.S. Munitions List, amending the Commerce Control List, had responsibility for reviewing and responding to public comments, and developed U.S. policy for designating items as defense articles under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA). Christopher also substantially reformed the ITAR's commodity jurisdiction process - the most significant such effort in history - as he directly revised the government's policies and review procedures for commodity jurisdiction cases.
Mr. Stagg’s national security experience is further complemented by his experience at Jane’s Information Group, a leading defense information publisher and strategic advisory firm, in its consulting and editorial divisions. At Jane's Information Group, Christopher assessed defense industries, military weapon systems, and emerging technologies. He also reported on defense technologies for Jane's Defence Weekly.
Mr. Stagg holds numerous leadership roles within the American Bar Association: Christopher is currently the Vice Chair of the National Security Committee, the Vice Chair of the Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee, and since 2013 has been the Co-Editor of the Year-in-Review for Export Controls and Economic Sanctions.
Christopher is a noted thought leader on export controls, which includes successfully advocating revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), writing the industry's only guide on how to prepare effective public comments to proposed rulemaking, and originating a novel legal argument that was successfully advanced by 19 state governments against the State Department in litigation.
Mr. Stagg has been featured on U.S. export control issues by publications such as Bloomberg, Forbes, Jane's Defence Weekly, WorldECR, and LexisNexis' Law360. He has presented on export controls at the Department of State, the American Bar Association, the Society for International Affairs, the New York City Bar Association, the Export Compliance Training Institute, the Embassy of Canada, and the Embassy of France.
Mr. Stagg has previous senior in-house international trade counsel experience with a Fortune Global 150 company and senior counsel experience with a major international law firm in Washington, D.C., where he advised clients on export controls, economic sanctions, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), CFIUS, and other national security issues. During law school, Christopher clerked for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois.
Mr. Stagg received his law degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and his bachelor's degree from George Washington University. He also studied at the London School of Economics, the Yamasa Institute in Japan, and the Foreign Service Institute for classified coursework on intelligence and foreign policy.
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