Donald Pearce, a retired Special Agent from the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, is a subject matter expert in strategic trade control policy, transnational criminal investigations, and national security issues. He provides real-world solutions and guidance to companies and governments on security and compliance strategies, due diligence research, and successfully implementing and navigating multilateral trade controls.

A dynamic public speaker, Mr. Pearce has delivered keynote addresses, case studies, and panel presentations worldwide to various audiences. He has developed training scenarios based on actual events, acted as emcee and moderator in various government and private programs, and most recently delivered content via virtual conferences and small group appearances. Mr. Pearce is well-known in the strategic trade community and beyond; he has lectured at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Stimson Center Security & Strategic Trade Control Academy, published articles in World ECR and Export Compliance Manager and is a featured guest on international news programs. Mr. Pearce is adept at helping audiences understand the most complex international trade and national security policy issues and integrating lessons learned into good compliance and security strategies.

Before his retirement in 2020, Mr. Pearce served as the acting Unit Chief for Liaison and Interdiction, providing subject matter expertise to international organizations, other government agencies, and industry worldwide. Mr. Pearce was the principal author of the 2016 amendments to the Wassenaar Arrangement’s Best Practices for Export Control Enforcement, drawing on over 30 years of customs and strategic trade control experience. Mr. Pearce used his knowledge of cyber investigative and forensics techniques to partner with the FBI on a targeted outreach program focused on export control-related cybersecurity issues, significantly increasing awareness in the industry. His career included prosecuting precedent-setting cases, establishing the Regional Export Control Officer position at the US Embassy in Singapore, coordinating successful interdictions of dangerous goods, and protecting the international supply chain through successful public/private cooperative efforts.


Mr. Pearce holds a Bachelor of Science degree, cum laude, from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

Honors and Awards

Mr. Pearce received the Commerce Department Gold Medal for his role in a complex criminal investigation that dismantled an Iranian procurement network that provided components for use in improvised explosive devices. Mr. Pearce was awarded the Commerce Department Silver Medal for investigative excellence and the US Department of Justice Executive Assistant Attorney General’s Award as a case agent in the PPG Industries investigation, which uncovered a conspiracy to supply specialty coatings for an unauthorized nuclear end-use in Pakistan. The case resulted in record-setting fines and a guilty plea by a Chinese state-owned enterprise, a first in US jurisprudence. Mr. Pearce has also been awarded the Commerce Department Gold Medal for his participation in protection operations for the Secretary of Commerce during his 2003 visits to Iraq and Afghanistan and a Bronze Medal recognizing his significant contributions to the Export Control Officer program.