2019 Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



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DC Office

T: 202.580.8911


NY Office

T: 212.658.0601


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1725 I Street, NW

Suite 300

Washington, DC 20006



800 Third Avenue

28th Floor

New York, NY 10022


Heather C. Sears

Of Counsel

T: 410.739.4282


Heather C. Sears joined the international trade law and sanctions practice of Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC after twenty years serving as in-house trade and compliance counsel for various defense contractors and manufacturers.  She also represented numerous corporate clients through her own firm, Global Compliance Counsel, LLC.   


Previously, Heather served as in-house trade or compliance counsel with Johnson Controls, DRS Technologies/Finmeccancia North America, Cobham plc, Smiths Technologies North America, and TRW Aeronautical Systems.  Heather lead the trade compliance programs for each of these companies and provided legal guidance to executives and business personnel. 

Heather is a recognized leader in the field of trade compliance with more than 20 years’ experience counseling businesses on a wide variety of international issues, including compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), sanctions regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).


Heather has extensive experience developing and implementing trade compliance programs, conducting audits and internal investigations, preparing voluntary disclosures for submission to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), preparing commodity jurisdiction determination and commerce classification requests, conducting training, facilitating regulatory change and implementing export control reform.  She also represented foreign and domestic clients regarding international transactions involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS") and proposed acquisition and mitigation arrangements for non-U.S. owned defense businesses. Heather's strengths include strategic planning, strong communication, and influencing and building effective relationships. She has extensive public lecturing experience on international trade regulations and corporate compliance programs.


Heather received her BS from Francis Marion University,

her MBA from the University of Maryland, her MIM from the University of Maryland, and her JD from the University of Baltimore.  Heather is a member of the Maryland bar.