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 and regulations 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. Over the following years, he launched CLDP's activities throughout Africa and the Middle East. 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, among others, WTO and Free Trade Agreement negotiation and implementation, protection of intellectual property rights, electronic commerce (including e-government and e-procurement), judicial reform, finance, regulatory reform, government ethics, and investment codes.
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 the Debevoise & Plimpton law firm in Budapest, Hungary, on project finance and privatization projects and assisting the Gordon & Glickson law firm 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 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.