F. Amanda DeBusk


F. Amanda DeBusk


Washington, D.C. | 1900 K Street, NW, Washington, DC, United States of America 20006-1110
+1 202 261 3452 | +1 202 261 3333


F. Amanda DeBusk, chair of the firm’s global International Trade and Government Regulation practice, focuses on matters relating to U.S. international trade regulations, export controls, sanctions and trade compliance. Ms. DeBusk is highly regarded as an authority on the enforcement of export and trade compliance, drawing on her experience as the former U.S. Commerce Department assistant secretary for Export Enforcement to represent clients across a broad spectrum of matters relating to civil and criminal enforcement, voluntary disclosures, regulatory compliance and customs.

Ms. DeBusk offers expertise in a number of regulatory areas, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Buy America Act. Her clients include leading multinationals and Fortune 500 companies. Ms. DeBusk practices across an array of industries, including defense, banking, manufacturing, electronics, automotive, agriculture, aerospace, telecommunications and energy.

Ms. DeBusk is consistently recognized and recommended as a top international trade and business lawyer in Chambers and The Legal 500. She was recently listed as one of the “top 30 practitioners of international trade law in the world” by Euromoney’s Best of the Best Expert Guide, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT). Ms. DeBusk was also recognized by Best Lawyers for International Trade. Ms. DeBusk is an active contributor to the international trade community, presenting at conferences and webinars around the world such as the American Conference Institute’s Networking & Leadership Forum for Women in Defense and Aerospace Law & Compliance, the Annual TRACE Forum and C5’s Conference on U.S. Defense Trade Controls Under State and Commerce. She has also authored articles for The Journal of Export Controls and Sanctions, Law360, The Export Practitioner and Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime.

Ms. DeBusk is co-chair of Dechert’s Global Women’s Initiative, which aims to identify and implement initiatives that promote opportunities for women to advance and lead throughout the firm.

Prior to joining Dechert, Ms. DeBusk was a partner at another international law firm, where she was the chair of the international trade department.

  • Provided expert testimony on international trade issues for two Senate committees.
  • Export controls, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), export enforcement, and antiboycott matters, including voluntary and directed disclosures, internal investigations, audits, global compliance programs, classification and commodity jurisdiction requests, licensing, manuals and compliance materials, and training programs.
  • Sanctions, including compliance advice, internal investigations and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) licensing.
  • Antidumping, countervailing duty, escape clause and Section 332 investigations, unfair trade practices (Section 301) and national security-based trade proceedings (Section 232).
  • Customs matters, including penalty proceedings, audits and prior disclosures.
  • Section 337 intellectual property rights (IPR).
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including experience as part of a monitorship team.
  • The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, including complex issues and strategy arising in large global acquisitions.
  • National security regulatory issues.
  • Trade agreements and market access, including the World Trade Organization, the North America Free Trade Agreement, various free trade agreements, the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Australia Group, the Missile Controls Technology Regime and the World Customs Organization.
  • Global settlements of criminal and civil export controls investigations with the U.S. Departments of Justice, Commerce, Treasury, State and Homeland Security.
  • Buy America Act and government contract issues.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corp., including expropriation claims.

Includes matters prior to joining Dechert.

  • University of Richmond, B.A., 1978, summa cum laude
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1981
  • District of Columbia
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • Supreme Court of the United States
External Articles
  • "US Sanctions Enforcement Focus on Mergers and Acquisitions," Journal of Financial Compliance, Vol. 4, No. 3 (November 2020).
  • "Department of Justice Revises Policy on Voluntary Self-Disclosures of Sanctions and Export Violations," ABA Criminal Justice Section’s The State of Criminal Justice 2020 (July 2020). 
  • “Coronavirus: Update on US Controls and other Compliance Issues” WorldECR 88 (2020). 
  •  “US Customs Law and Compliance,” in Corporate Legal Departments: Practicing Law in a Corporation, Practising Law Institute (updated yearly).
  • "US Treasury Releases List of Russian Oligarchs and Significant Senior Figures," WorldECR 67 (March 2018).
  • "The Trump Sanctions Policy at 3 Months," Law360 (April 2017).
  • “Untangling Common Issues in OFAC’s Revised 50 Percent Rule,” The Export Practitioner (February 2016).
  • “The Story Behind Standard Chartered Bank’s $340M Settlement,” WorldECR 15 (September 2012).
  • “Record-Breaking Fines in ING Bank Sanctions Case Show Hazards Of Doing Business with Iran, Cuba and Other Sanctioned Countries,” Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime 23, no. 11 (August 2012).
  • Former U.S. Commerce Department Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement
  • Member, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Trustee emeritus, University of Richmond board of trustees
  • Former counsel to the chair of the president’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations
  • Former commissioner, Federal Interagency Commission on Crime and Security in U.S. Seaports
  • Former member, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Investment and Services Policy Advisory Committee
  • Senior advisor, Women in International Trade Charitable Trust
  • Board of editors, Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime
  • Member, Trade Policy Forum
Speaking Engagements
  • ACI’s 2nd Virtual Conference on U.S.-China Trade Controls — American Conference Institute (Oct. 22, 2020)
  • Discussing New US Controls on Tech Exports to China with Amanda DeBusk, Former Commerce Department Official — Podcast #5, China Law and Practice (May 8, 2020)
  • Trade and Investment as a Tool of Foreign Policy — New England Legal Foundation, Boston (June 12, 2019)
  • Trade Winds in Trade Wars: Latest Developments in Trade, Sanctions and Geopolitics and Their Implications for Reinsurers — International Bar Association Conference: Insurance - A Guide to a Changing Legal Landscape, London (March 21, 2019)
  • Spotlight on Iran Sanctions: Addressing Recent Changes to Global Regulatory Regimes and the Impact on Multi-National Corporations — TRACE International, Inc., Washington D.C. (October 30, 2018)
  • Russia Sanctions Case Study: A Step by Step Guide for Navigating the Complex Sanctions Landscape — ACES Compliance Summit, Tysons Corner (April 18, 2018)
  • Free Trade Agreements – Opportunities and Pitfalls — 2nd National Young Energy Professionals Conference, New Orleans (April 6-7, 2018)
  • Preparing for Your Next Move Up the Ladder: What You Need for Leadership and Success in the Industry-Now More Than Ever — 3rd Networking & Leadership Forum for Women in Defense and Aerospace Law & Compliance, Washington, D.C. (January 30, 2018)
  • A Discussion on U.S. Trade Cases — American Metal Market’s 11th Steel Scrap Conference, Chicago (November 13-14, 2017)
  • Iran and Russia: Future Proofing Your Sanctions and Export Compliance Programs — Compliance Week, Washington, D.C. (November 7, 2017)
  • Understanding Sanctions,” Bribe, Swindle or Steal: Exploring the World of Financial Crime — TRACE International, Inc., Washington, D.C. (July 27, 2017)