Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP is now Arent Fox. Read the press release

David R. Hanke

Dave represents clients at the intersection of business and national security on matters involving foreign investment screening (CFIUS), strategic technology policy, export controls, government relations, and investigations.
David Hanke, Partner, Arent Fox LLP

Dave is a leading national security and public policy lawyer for domestic and foreign companies, especially those navigating the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and its implementation of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA). While working on Capitol Hill, he was the primary staff architect of FIRRMA and the chief strategist behind its 2018 enactment. He also advises companies on U.S. Government policy regarding strategic technology issues, such as 5G telecommunications infrastructure and domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and helps clients interface effectively with federal agencies and Congress. He is regularly invited to speak at industry, think tank, and academic conferences and quoted in major national news stories.

Client Work – Regulatory Matters

Dave is well-positioned to represent both domestic and foreign entities before CFIUS and advise them on how the regulations apply.  He is well-known to the key players at the Treasury Department, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Commerce Department, and other CFIUS member agencies as a result of his close collaboration with many of them during the development of FIRRMA.  Dave is viewed as highly credible on national security matters, and he has a firm understanding of CFIUS’s behind-the-scenes processes and analyses.  This stems in part from his past work with the U.S. Intelligence Community and his familiarity with its National Security Threat Assessments, which are written to inform each CFIUS review.

He has assisted venture capital investors, technology companies of various sizes and stages, and large multinational corporations on various CFIUS issues, ranging from advising on the regulatory implications of various transactions to preparing filings. In addition, he helps U.S. companies prepare informal submissions to CFIUS to identify problematic foreign investments in their domestic competitors that may raise U.S. national security concerns and that have not already been filed with CFIUS.

As part of his CFIUS work, Dave advises clients on the new export controls on emerging and foundational technologies, as mandated by the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 and incorporated into the CFIUS definition of critical technologies. 

Separately, he advises defense contractors and other companies on issues of foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) in accordance with the government’s National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). He also has experience advising clients on security clearance issues, and he helps companies ensure they have in place policies, procedures, training, and systems relevant for access to classified information.

Client Work – Government Relations

Dave represents both corporate and nonprofit clients before Congress and executive branch agencies, and he has a proven ability to build bipartisan bridges to get things done. On Capitol Hill, his work has included assisting a top American manufacturing company and a major transportation association on issues ranging from federal procurement limitations to Section 301 tariff exclusions.  He regularly assists clients of the firm’s International Trade practice by tracking and analyzing high-impact legislative developments in priority areas.

Previous Work

Congressional Experience

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Dave spent over 12 years on Capitol Hill, serving in a variety of senior national security staff positions, including as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and as Counsel for National Security Affairs to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), then-Senate Majority Whip.

His most consequential effort was working on Sen. Cornyn’s FIRRMA legislation, which represented the most sweeping overhaul of CFIUS in its 44-year history and is considered by many to have been the most significant bipartisan legislative accomplishment of the 115th Congress.

While in the Senate, Dave worked on some of the most complex and multifaceted national security issues and technology-related challenges of the day. At SSCI, his duties included serving as the lead policy advisor to Sen. Cornyn on all intelligence, CFIUS, and related issues; devising, developing, and drafting FIRMMA; reviewing all classified CFIUS National Security Threat Assessments written by the Intelligence Community; and formulating policy to maximize security for 5G mobile communications. He also drafted two pieces of legislation to address the growing problem of intellectual property theft by foreign actors.

In addition, while working for Senator Cornyn, Dave was the staff architect of several other pieces of legislation that became law, including a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that granted special tax benefits to U.S. military service members who performed hazardous duty in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt; a provision of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that authorized victims of the 2009 terrorist attack on Fort Hood, Texas, to be awarded Purple Heart Medals; two provisions of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act that helped safeguard the voting rights of U.S. military service members at home and abroad; and another provision of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act that required the Department of Defense to adopt safety standards to minimize the risk of electrical and other accidents for U.S. military service members in combat zones.  He was also the original staff architect of Senator Cornyn’s “secure 5G” legislation (a version of which was later introduced as the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019).

From 2007 through 2016, Dave served as the lead Republican staffer on the U.S. Senate India Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of senators that promotes relations between the U.S. and India across a broad spectrum of economic and security interests. He also previously held various staff positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, including at the House International Relations Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Committee on House Administration.

Military Service

Dave served on active duty in the U.S. Army for three years as a JAG officer in the storied 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). As a Captain, he deployed to Iraq for 11 months in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, during which he served as the Brigade Judge Advocate and the Brigade Trial Counsel for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, the Army’s premier aviation brigade. In this role, he was the lead prosecutor and principal attorney for commanders at various levels. He also served as a Civil and Administrative Law Attorney and a Legal Assistance Attorney at the Division headquarters. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal and the Iraq Campaign Medal.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Dave has presented at a number of national security and international trade-related events including:

  • Co-Chair and Panelist, “A 360 Degree View of Today’s CFIUS Landscape 1 Year Post-FIRRMA Implementation,” 7th National Conference on CFIUS, April 20, 2021
  • Panelist, “CFIUS’s New Reach Over Real Estate Transactions,” 6th National Conference on CFIUS, July 16, 2020
  • Lecturer, “Bankrupting Our National Security: Stopping Technology Theft Through Our Courts,” Judicial Training Program, The National Security Institute (at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School), Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Law and Economics Center (at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School), New York City, NY, February 20, 2020
  • Panelist, "Controlling US Tech Exports to China: How to Get It Right," The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) Panel DiscussionWashington, DC, February 18, 2020
  • Panelist, “FIRRMA Implementation: Managing Threats from Foreign Investment,” 2020 National Security Legal Outlook The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), January 16, 2020
  • Featured Presenter, “Overview of New FIRRMA Regulations and Implications for Foreign Investors,” monthly conference call of the American Bar Association, Section of International Law, International M&A Joint Venture Committee, November 5, 2019
  • Speaker, “Managing the Risk of Tech Transfer to China,” Center for Strategic and International Studies Panel Event, October 29, 2019
  • Speaker, “FIRRMA & ECRA? Making Sense of Alphabet Soup on Foreign Investment Screening and Emerging Technology Controls,” National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Webinar, September 25, 2019
  • Guest, “Foreign Investment and National Security in the Digital Age” podcast, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), September 4, 2019
  • Speaker, "Update on Foreign Investment, Related Regulatory Policy and Developments in Business Ethics," National Defense Industrial Association’s UK-US-Canada-Australia Quadrilateral Conference, London, England, September 9, 2019
  • Speaker, “The Alphabet Soup of FIRRMA, CFIUS & M&A, and Its Impact to You,” American Association of Exporters and Importers Annual Conference, Washington, DC, June 27, 2019
  • Speaker, “Chinese Misappropriation of US Technology: Assessing the US Response,” Federalist Society Teleforum, June 13, 2019
  • Speaker, “CFIUS: Soup to Nuts,” National Security Institute and Morgan Lewis Symposium, Washington, DC, May 15, 2019
  • Speaker, “The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (‘CFIUS’) and the impacts of Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (‘FIRRMA’) and the Export Control Reform Act,” the Society for International Affairs’ 2019 Spring International Trade Export Licensing & Compliance Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, May 6, 2019
  • Speaker, “CFIUS, FIRRMA & ECRA? Making sense of the regulatory alphabet soup surrounding foreign investment screening and emerging technology controls,” Lexology webinar, May 2, 2019
  • Featured Speaker, “CFIUS 2.0: Foreign Investment Screening After the Enactment of FIRRMA,” roundtable with Defense Innovation Unit headquarters staff (Department of Defense), April 8, 2019
  • Featured Speaker, “Understanding FIRRMA and ECRA: New Rules On Foreign Direct Investment and Technology Control,” Cowen Group investors roundtable, New York, March 20, 2019 / Cowen Group investor teleforum, March 7, 2019
  • Moderator, “BIS and Emerging Technologies Controls: What's Next?,” American Bar Association, Washington, DC, March 11, 2019
  • Speaker, “CFIUS, FIRRMA, and Export Controls:  The Intersection of National Security and Business,” National Council on International Trade Development monthly meeting, February 13, 2019
  • Featured Speaker, “Investing, Trading and Doing Deals in a Dynamic World 2019,” Practising Law Institute, January 15, 2019
  • Speaker, “Panel Discussion on CFIUS,” The Federalist Society, October 29, 2018
  • Speaker, “CFIUS Reform: Expanded Oversight on Foreign Investment,” Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) corporate roundtable, October 22, 2018
  • Panelist, Legal Affairs Roundtable Event on CFIUS modernization, The Intelligence and National Security Alliance, May 11, 2018
  • Speaker, “CFIUS Update Impacts on US Industry,” National Defense Industrial Association corporate roundtable, February 2, 2018
  • Speaker, “CFIUS in 2018: Is It Time to Reform the CFIUS Process?” Trade Policy Forum roundtable, January 24, 2018

In The News

Dave has been frequently quoted by major national news outlets and agencies, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, ReutersMarketplace, The National Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel.

Professional Activities

Dave has been a guest lecturer on CFIUS and national security law at NYU School of Law and George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He is a member of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, the Society for International Affairs, and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He is also a member of the ABA and is active in its Section of International Law.

In addition, he is a Visiting Fellow at the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.



The Legal 500 Recommended Attorney for 2020