Nelson Dong, a senior partner in the Seattle office of Dorsey & Whitney and head of its National Security Practice Group, has been named one of eight PSBJ's 2021 Directors of the Year. The Business Journal’s prestigious annual Director of the Year award honors and profiles business leaders in the Puget Sound region who are among the most influential and accomplished in corporate America. Focusing on excellence in the boardroom, the Director of the Year awards recognize outstanding individual contributions, board action, or lifetime achievement.

Dong will be honored on Thursday, September 9, 2021, at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle for his many years of dedicated service as a board member for two nonprofit groups: the Washington State China Relations Council in Seattle and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York City. Both organizations focus on the improvement and promotion of business, educational and cultural ties between the United States and China.

“We congratulate Nelson on this recognition of his many legal achievements and his long commitment to the business community through the WSCRC in Seattle and NCUSCR in New York,” said Bill Stoeri, Managing Partner of Dorsey & Whitney. “We are proud that Nelson has helped many global companies and organizations navigate safely through challenging times.”

Dong, who has been with Dorsey & Whitney since 1992, is an internationally respected practitioner in the field of U.S. export controls, economic sanctions and national security reviews of foreign investment or acquisitions in the United States.  He is an Associate Member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and has represented many leading research universities and been a frequent speaker at NACUA annual conferences.  He was appointed twice by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve as a member of the President’s Export Council Subcommittee on Export Administration (PECSEA) as a policy advisor on U.S. export controls.  He has also served as an adjunct professor of international law at the Seattle University of Law School, and he is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu.  Dong has taught and written often about international technology law, export controls and economic sanctions, and national security reviews of foreign direct investment in the United States, and he has long supported the World Affairs Council in Seattle.  He is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Committee of 100. Before joining Dorsey, Dong was a White House Fellow in the Carter Administration and served as a Special Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Griffin B. Bell and as Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and federal prosecutor in Boston.  He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Yale Law School, and he has served as a member of the Stanford Board of Trustees.

Dong has had a long commitment to communities, law students and lawyers of color. He has served on many community nonprofit boards, helped co-found the first local Asian American bar association in the nation and supported several local chapters of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Dong was recognized by NAPABA in 2008 as one of its Trailblazers and has been a director of the Asian Bar Association of Washington Student Scholarship Foundation, which funds multiple law student scholarships for Asian Pacific Islander (API) law students at the three accredited Washington law schools.  He has also mentored young API and other lawyers of color for over 40 years in varied law firm, corporate, nonprofit and government positions. In addition, Dong has taken part in many law firm diversity efforts and worked on diversity and inclusion initiatives through multiple bar association programs.