Nelson Dong

Adjunct Senior Fellow
Dong.Nelson [at]
J.D. from Yale Law School (1974) and his A.B. from Stanford University (1971)
Area of Expertise: 

U.S. export control and national security matters; domestic and international technology transfers and licensing; and outsourcing and manufacturing in Asia

Nelson G. Dong is a partner in the Seattle office of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, a major international law firm. He represents technology companies and research institutions in domestic and international technology and intellectual property transactions. He has special expertise in U.S. export control and national security matters, domestic and international technology transfers and licensing, and outsourcing and manufacturing in Asia and has worked often with research universities and research consortia, aerospace and defense electronics, telecommunications, hardware and software, and biomedical products clients.  He is head of the firm’s National Security Practice Group and is also co-chair of its Asian Practice Group.

He has frequently taught and written about U.S. export control, economic sanctions and other national security laws regulating foreign investments in or acquisitions of U.S. technology companies, intellectual property law, technology-related business transactions between the U.S. and European or Asian countries (particularly in Greater China), international strategic alliances, university-based technology transfer, academic entrepreneurship, academic conflicts of interest and the financing and organization of high technology businesses. He has lectured in these technology law fields throughout the United States and in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, England, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.  He has also been selected by his legal peers as a Washington state SuperLawyer in the field of international law and recognized by Chambers for his expertise in export control and economic sanctions law.  He is also an associate member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.

Nelson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City and has served (2008 -15 and 2016 - present) on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York City, the nation’s leading public policy educational group on U.S. relations with China.  Nelson was also a director (2007-16) of Puget Sound Public Radio, which operates KUOW, the FM public radio station that is the Seattle affiliate of National Public Radio.  He was the 2009-10 President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association in Washington, DC, and he was the 2006-07 President  and is a current director of the Washington State China Relations Council, a trade promotion group in Seattle, Washington

He has served twice as a member of the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration, the nation’s highest advisory group on U.S. export control policy (1999-2001 and 2011-16).  He has been active in the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law and Practice and was an adjunct professor of international business law at Seattle University Law School (2014).  Nelson has also been President of the TechLaw Group (1996-98), an international consortium of leading law firms that serve high technology clients.  He is a member of the Committee of 100 in New York City, a national non-profit organization working for better U.S.-China relations and the civil rights of Chinese Americans, and has served in the past on its Board of Directors and as its secretary and general counsel.

Nelson was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston (1980-82); Deputy Associate Attorney General, Department of Justice (1979-80); and White House Fellow and Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Griffin B. Bell, Department of Justice, Washington, DC (1978-79).

Nelson received his J.D. from Yale Law School (1974) and his A.B. from Stanford University (1971), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He has served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees (1978-82) and was a member of the Yale Law School Association Executive Committee (2006-09).