Chair Kearns was nominated to the USITC by President Barack Obama on January 17, 2017; renominated by President Donald Trump on June 29, 2017; and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2018. He was sworn in as a member of the Commission on April 2, 2018, for a term expiring on December 16, 2024. President Trump designated him Chair for the two-year term expiring June 16, 2022.
Chair Kearns served as trade counsel for 11 years on the Democratic staff of the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, including most recently as Chief International Trade Counsel. Prior to his employment at the Committee on Ways and Means, he was the Assistant General Counsel of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 2003-2006.
Earlier in his career, Chair Kearns practiced international trade law at the law firm of Wilmer, Culter & Pickering (now WilmerHale) from 2000-2003 and worked at the law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt (now Mayer Brown) from 1995-1998, including a stint in the firm’s Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic office.
Chair Kearns holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, and a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University. Originally from Keenesburg, Colorado, he resides in Washington, DC, with his wife, Lindy, and three children, Ellie, Keevan, and Sander.