Dennis C. Shea joins the Bipartisan Policy Center after serving as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland. At the WTO, Dennis led an interagency team charged with advancing U.S. interests on issues ranging from trade in goods and services to ecommerce, intellectual property protection and agriculture. He also spearheaded U.S. efforts to achieve meaningful WTO reform. As Deputy USTR, Dennis represented the U.S. as head of delegation at the G20 Trade Ministers meetings in Argentina (2018) and Japan (2019). For nearly three decades, Dennis has successfully navigated the Washington, DC landscape, combining a deep public-policy background with practical political and legislative experience.
Directly prior to his service in Geneva, Dennis ran a successful consulting practice largely focused on housing policy. In this capacity, he was immersed in two important BPC projects – the Housing Commission and its landmark report (Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy) and the Senior Health and Housing Task Force and its report (Healthy Aging Begins at Home).
During his career, Dennis has served as one of the top staffers in the United States Congress (deputy chief of staff and counsel to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole), as a high-level presidential campaign aide (policy director for the 1996 Dole for President campaign), and as a leading member of a Cabinet department (Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at HUD). Dennis also served as senior advisor to the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 2006 election cycle and, in 1992, was the Republican and Conservative Party candidate for Congress from New York’s 7th Congressional District.
Dennis has a strong record of working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to achieve positive results. In 2003, he served as Executive Director of the President’s Commission on the United States Postal Service. Many of the Commission’s recommendations were later reflected in the 2006 postal reform law.
For more than 10 years, Dennis was a member of the bipartisan and influential U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission and served as either Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Commission from 2012 to 2017. As a Commissioner, Dennis testified before Congress on issues ranging from China’s energy engagement with Central Asia, China’s maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas, the impact of international technology transfer on American research and development, and China’s space program.
Dennis began his career in Washington, DC as an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Dennis received a J.D., an M.A. in History, and a B.A. in Government, all from Harvard University. He is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Juliette.