Forum on

Defense Trade & National Security Policy

October 1 - 3, 2023 Charlottesville, Virginia
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The Steering Committee welcomes 48 of the most experienced attorneys, in-house counsel and compliance professionals in the U.S. defense industry to discuss shared challenges on the impact of government policy, regulations, and compliance with export regulation.

Using candid, seminar-style discussion at this annual meeting, the group examines trends and developments for meaningful dialogue on the most pressing export controls issues. During some of the sessions, participants have the opportunity to obtain the perspectives of key USG officials.

2023 Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, comprised of experts in the field, personally nominates all invitees and ​develops the Agenda, which forms the basis of our discussions.

Committee Co-Chairs

Committee Members

  • Bryce V. Bittner Managing Counsel, International Trade Legal McKinsey & Company Washington, D.C.

    I am an Associate General Counsel at McKinsey & Company where I advise the Firm on export control and sanctions issues. I am also a member of the State Department’s DTAG and the Commerce Department’s TransTAC, and I frequently speak on international trade topics at national and international conferences.  Prior to joining McKinsey, I was the Director of Global Trade Compliance at Textron Inc., and before that, I served as an export control counsel for Honeywell Aerospace and as an associate in the International Trade practice of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.  I graduated from Columbia Law School and Columbia School of International and Public Affairs with a joint J.D./Master of International Affairs and from George Washington University with a B.A. in Russian. I am admitted to the Maryland State and District of Columbia Bars, and I reside in Falls Church, VA with my wife and two boys.

  • Jeannette L. Chu Vice President National Security Policy National Foreign Trade Council Washington, D.C.
  • Randall H. Cook Senior Managing Director Ankura Consulting Group, LLC New York, NY
  • Lawrence R. Fink Senior Assistant General Counsel and Vice President Leidos, Inc. Reston, VA

    Lawrence R. Fink is a Senior Assistant General Counsel and Vice President at Leidos, Inc., formerly SAIC. As the Director of International Regulatory Compliance for Leidos, he is responsible for ensuring corporate-wide compliance with U.S. import, export, human trafficking, and anti-corruption regulations. Mr. Fink serves as an industry representative on the Defense Trade Advisory Group or DTAG.


    Prior to his work in international trade compliance, Mr. Fink served as an arms control and national security analyst, providing implementation and compliance support to the Department of Defense for strategic arms control treaties and agreements, including START II, the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, Nuclear Safeguards, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.


    Mr. Fink is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Russian studies. He received his law degree from George Mason University School of Law and is a member of the Virginia Bar.

  • Nancy A. Fischer Partner Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Washington, D.C.
  • Beth Ann Johnson Director, International Trade Compliance and Operations Northrop Grumman Corporation Easton, MD

    Beth Ann leads the trade compliance strategic and operational framework for Northrop Grumman Weapons Systems Division. She is a global leader with decades of experience bringing unique and diverse perspectives to leading in a dynamic environment. Her passion and collaborative leadership approach to trade compliance enables fiduciary and growth objectives in compliance with export/import laws and regulations. Beth Ann is a national and international speaker and guest lecturer on trade compliance, has served on numerous government trade advisory committees and has supported numerous U.S. delegations working with foreign governments on export controls.


    Ms. Johnson holds a B.A. degree in Public Policy from Eisenhower, Rochester Institute of Technology, an M.B.A. degree from the American Graduate School of International Management and a Certificate in Global Management from INSEAD. She currently lives Easton, MD.

  • Jeff Merrell Vice President, Strategic Trade Rolls-Royce North America, Defense Reston, VA
  • William Wade Vice President, Global Trade Compliance L3Harris Technologies Arlington, VA

    William Wade (Bill) is the Vice President of Global Trade Compliance in the Washington, DC area. Bill is a retired Lt. Colonel from the United States Army with more than thirty years of military and civilian experience. His expertise is in export/import compliance and policy, along with extensive knowledge of The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulation (EAR) and Security Assistance Manual (SAM). He brings to the table his experience with private industry and with government perspectives in mind.


    Bill provides focused guidance, training and assistance regarding company export and compliance matters. Bill’s mission is to teach others to provide compliant, customer-focused Trade Control service to customers to ensure timely support of International business. Bill believes it is imperative as a Trade Practitioner to understand what is in your “toolbox” and then study and improve and utilize each tool for optimum compliance and customer service which includes, but not limited to, your company’s product, regulations, policy, training, and your experience.


    Bill is the L3HARRIS lead for the Global Trade Group (GTG) serving as lead Empowered Official. He serves as a Member of International Council, Aerospace Industries Association (AIA); He is the immediate past Chair of the Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG), Federal Advisory Council to the U.S. Department of State and served on the DTAG for over 10 years. Bill also serves on the Council for L3HARRIS’s Diversity and Inclusion as the Executive Sponsor the L3HARRIS AARG.


    Prior to L3HARRIS Technologies, Bill worked at Raytheon and at Boeing. At Raytheon, he was a Senior Director providing advice and counsel to senior management in establishing direction, strategy, and policy along with developing a training and curriculum map to increase employee and staff career development. He served as the Lead for Export and Import (EX/IM) Operation, while enabling Subject Matter Expert (SME) guidance to personnel on export/import issues and trained personnel and license stakeholders in EX/IM. Bill is a “proven” leader – excelling in problem-solving and team-building skills. While serving in the Army he had 18 years of aviation experience, worked with systems integration, management of technical personnel, development of acquisition strategies and extensive work with contracting and procurement budget analysis.


    He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Executive Leadership and Development. Bill is a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He has served in several positions of leadership to include District Director, Chapter President, Chapter Vice President and President of the Chapter’s 501 (c)(3) Scholarship Foundation.

  • Kevin J. Wolf Partner Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Washington, D.C.

Forum Director

  • Kate Ross Forum Director Cambridge Forums Toronto, ON [email protected] M: +1 437 971 6813

    Kate has a background in social services where she treated youth with complex mental health and addictions issues. Her role involved developing detailed, treatment-focused program plans and seeing them through to completion. Kate brings many years of experience in the service industry to her role at Cambridge Forums. In her spare time, Kate enjoys good food and wine, all things true-crime related, and dance parties with her kids.

CONNECT. ENGAGE. EXCEL. This is a different event, unlike any you've attended

Built on genuine interactions and spontaneous connections, the Forum is an unparalleled learning and benchmarking opportunity for preeminent leaders on U.S. defense-related export control and trade policy issues.

Sponsoring This Forum

The Steering Committee would like to thank the following sponsor for their support of the Forum on Defense Trade & National Security Policy.

Please click the logo below to learn more about our Sponsor.

Learn More


Learn why people return year after year

Hear how our participants describe the practical benefits of our forums.

Kate Ross

Forum Director


+1 437 971 6813


[email protected]Email Kate

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