John Barker's practice focuses on national security matters including export controls and trade sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the US Department of the Treasury (OFAC), and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He helps companies and institutions establish compliance plans, obtain export authorizations, and provides representation in enforcement proceedings. He also represents companies before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in reviews required under the US Exon-Florio statute. Mr. Barker came to the firm from the US Department of State, where he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls and, prior to that, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Controls.

In his most recent position at the State Department, Mr. Barker supervised the development and implementation of US policy on multilateral nonproliferation and security regimes, and nonproliferation sanctions. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Controls, he supervised the US munitions licensing and defense trade compliance under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) including imposing sanctions on companies for violation of US export control law. He led US negotiating teams to more than 20 countries, supervised audits of defense trade manufacturing facilities, and oversaw the US government's nonproliferation review of dual-use exports subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

Mr. Barker testified frequently before the US Congress on a wide variety of export control matters including trade sanctions, preventing the transfer of arms and dual-use technology to state sponsors of terrorism, the Export Administration Act, export licensing and compliance, and regulation of the aerospace industry.

Mr. Barker was recognized nationally in Chambers USA for his work on export controls and trade sanctions.

Mr. Barker received his JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1986, where he was Managing Editor of the Journal of Law Reform. After his clerkship with the Honorable James S. Holden of the US District Court for the District of Vermont, he was appointed a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Center for International Affairs. He also served as a Visiting Fellow at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. From 1988 to 1993, he was an associate at an international law firm, where he served in its Palo Alto, Tokyo, and San Francisco offices. While there, he co-authored a Stanford University study on ballistic missile proliferation.


Chambers Global
International Trade: Export Controls & Economic Sanctions (USA) (20112023)
Best Lawyers
International Trade and Finance Law (2010-2021, 2023)
“Lawyers of the Year” – International Trade and Finance Law (2022)
The Legal 500 US
"Hall of Fame"–International Trade: Dispute Resolution (2020-2022)
International Trade (2009-2010, 2012-2022)
"Leading Lawyer" – Dispute Resolution: International Trade (2018)
"Leading Lawyer" – Litigation: International Trade (2013-2017)


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1986
  • A.B., Dartmouth College, 1983
  • District of Columbia
Government & Military Service
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation Controls, US Department of State
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Controls, US Department of State
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, The Honorable James S. Holden

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