Clete R. Willems is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. Willems is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he advises multinational companies, investors, and trade associations on international economic law and policy matters. Until April 2019, Willems was deputy assistant to the president for international economics and deputy director of the National Economic Council. In this role, he was a key negotiator with foreign governments, including China and the European Union, and the president’s lead negotiator at the G-7, G-20, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum. Prior to joining the White House, Willems was a trade negotiator and WTO litigator at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). He also worked as legislative director for Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Willems graduated from the University of Notre Dame (BA) and Georgetown University Law Center (JD).