CTT Research Memo Finds Three Main Lessons on BIS Nominee Alan Estevez

Two weeks ago, President Joe Biden nominated Alan Estevez as the director of BIS. On that day, China Tech Threat hosted an online panel of four previous BIS directors’ views on Mr. Estevez’s pending challenges. (China Tech Threat’s coverage of the BIS nomination, opinions, news articles, and expert videos can all be found at chinatechthreat.com/future-of-bis/.)

In order to better understand the nominee’s views on export controls, the Entity List, and other BIS tools, China Tech Threat has studied his career and compiled this research memo summarizing three main lessons.

While there is limited material to examine,- after all, having spent 36 years as a Department of Defense civil servant, Mr. Estevez provides little public commentary, speeches, and writings upon which to evaluate his views – there are a few lessons worthy of consideration.

Mr. Estevez has spent the past four years at Deloitte Consulting and in 2019 he published, with four colleagues, an overview of the challenge of regulating dual-use technologies. This is worth close examination. (The white paper also suggest a new approach, though this is largely based on a June 2018 Deloitte white paper for which Mr. Estevez was not a co-author.)

Further, Mr. Estevez has also testified before Congress several times. His 2017 CFIUS testimony is especially insightful. He keenly noted the US’s erosion of technological advantages over our adversaries. He also successfully advocated for a strengthened CFIUS.

The three main lessons:

  • Estevez Outlined a New Regulatory Approach to National Security and Technology Regulation

  • Estevez Said U.S. Technological Advantages Over Adversaries Has “Eroded”

  • Estevez Successfully Advocated for a Strengthened CFIUS