Joe Gattuso


Joseph L. (Joe) Gattuso is an Attorney-Advisor and Program Manager in the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the Department of Commerce’s Office of the General Counsel. Mr. Gattuso leads CLDP’s efforts on telecommunications, Internet, and cybersecurity legal reform and economic development.  He works primarily with countries in the Middle East and South Asia, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Burma (Myanmar).

Mr. Gattuso comes to CLDP from the Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he most recently served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Policy Analysis and Development. At various times in over 20 years at NTIA, Mr. Gattuso held the positions of Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Acting Director of Congressional Affairs.

In 2004, Mr. Gattuso spent six months in Iraq on detail to the Department of Defense/Coalition Provisional Authority. There he addressed legal and regulatory issues regarding Iraq’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector, such as the creation of an independent regulatory commission, the licensing of mobile telephone operators, the restructuring of the state-owned telephone company, and the redelegation of the “.iq” country code top level Internet domain.

Mr. Gattuso joined the Civilian Response Corps, now under the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, as a standby member in 2009, and helped coordinate post-disaster planning among agencies, including USAID and the Federal Communications Commission, immediately following the Haiti earthquake in early 2010. Mr. Gattuso gained early international experience by speaking on telecommunications policy at conferences in Hungary, Slovakia, and Russia. For many years he taught visiting international participants at NTIA’s annual spectrum management course, conducted through the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI).

The Commerce Department recognized Mr. Gattuso for his work in Iraq with its highest honor, a Gold Medal Award. Mr. Gattuso also received a Silver Medal and several Bronze Medal Awards for other projects during his Commerce career.

Prior to joining the Commerce Department, Mr. Gattuso practiced law in the Los Angeles, California area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Stanford University and a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law, where he participated in the Communications Law Program and moot court.  Mr. Gattuso is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and in California (inactive) and is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association.

Upcoming Programs

February 21, 2018 - March 24, 2018

On February 21-22, 2018, CLDP held a workshop in cooperation with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) for officials from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  The workshop was held at the WTO Secretariat on the margins of the meetings of the Committee for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).   At the workshop, the Afghan officials discussed with U.S. and WTO experts the procedural and substantive requirements of the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements, and methods for effective engagement in SPS and TBT Committees.  WTO experts also presented on the online tools made available to WTO members by the Secretariat to facilitate timely notifications. 

Following the workshops, the Afghan officials participated in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, ensuring that Afghanistan has a more active role on issues critical to Afghanistan's trade sector, and provides answers to questions posed by SPS Committee members. 

March 10, 2018 - March 17, 2018

On March 10-15, CLDP hosted a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan (MoMP) in Washington, DC. Her Excellency Nargis Nehan, Acting Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, headed the Afghan delegation in the U.S.  CLDP facilitated meetings for the Afghan delegation with U.S. Government agencies and the private sector.  During the meetings, MoMP’s representatives provided a comprehensive update on the current state of the Afghan extractive sector, while reinforcing the commitment of the Afghan government to reforms required to transition the extractive sector to a competitive and efficient market.  The MoMP’s representatives also provided an overview of potential mining projects and sought the private sector’s input on how to make the Afghan extractive industry more attractive to foreign private investment, as well as explained the ministry’s commitment to capacity building. In response, CLDP formally launched a 15 months-long extractive training course, designed for key technical and legal employees within the ministry.  

CLDP in Action

February 27, 2018 - March 2, 2018

CLDP together with its institutional partner Extractive Resources Governance Program (ERGP) at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, co-hosted a workshop of 13 officials from Pakistan on Establishing an Effective and Independent Regulator in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Read More about Pakistan: Upstream Regulator Workshop