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John C Pisa-Relli

John C Pisa-Relli

This attorney is not accepting clients.

Reason: In-House Counsel

Practice areas:

Federal Regulation, International Law, Administrative Law, Government Contracts

Client reviews

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About Me


As the Legal Director for Trade Compliance at Thales USA, Inc., I am the principal advocate for and adviser to Thales companies worldwide on compliance with U.S. export and trade controls, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Export Administration Regulations, and economic sanctions. In addition, I manage the company's trade compliance program and personnel in the United States, and I provide strategic leadership to an international network of 250 trade compliance professionals. 

The Thales Group is an $18 billion multinational aerospace and defense company based in Europe, and is ranked 12th worldwide in the Defense News Top 100.

Previously, I handled national security and international trade issues for the U.S. government and in private law practice. 

In the U.S. government, I served with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls, and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Export Administration. In each agency, I handled a wide range of licensing, compliance, and enforcement matters, including public outreach, compliance audits, and civil penalty cases. 

In private law practice, I was Senior Counsel to Foley & Lardner, and associated with Dickinson Landmeier. In both firms, I audited corporate clients to evaluate export and FCPA compliance, conducted internal investigations of suspected violations, provided day-to-day advice and periodic training, and represented clients’ interests before the government. My private practice experience also includes white collar litigation, intellectual property, and general corporate compliance.

Admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and before the U.S. Court of International Trade, I am a frequent speaker and writer on global trade compliance.


ITAR, EAR, OFAC, NISPOM, CFIUS, FCPA, Antiboycott Compliance, Customs, General Corporate Compliance, White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations


Practice Areas

Licensed since 1994

  1. Administrative Law: 30%
    22 years
  2. International Law: 30%
    22 years
  3. Federal Regulation: 30%
    22 years
  4. Government Contracts: 10%
    10 years

Attorney Endorsements

1 total 

  • Scott Edward Mccoy

    Having worked with John on Trade Control matters for many years, I've found him to have a simply nonpareil ability to understand issues from both the government's and the exporter's side. This invaluable insight is extremely useful and, when combined with John's overall high intellectual capacity, strong ethics, and empathetic manner with clients, makes working with him a professional pleasure.


    Scott Mccoy Commercial Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact Info

Thales USA Inc
2733 S Crystal Dr
Arlington, VA, 22202



VAAuthorized to practice law200710/09/2009
DCActive 199605/24/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers


Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Letter of CommendatonU.S. Commerce Department1993

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
Legal Director, Trade ComplianceThales USA, Inc.2010 - Present
Deputy General CounselThales USA, Inc.2008 - 2010
Senior CounselThales North America, Inc.2005 - 2008
Senior International Program LiaisonU.S. Treasury Department2003 - 2005
Senior CounselFoley & Lardner LLP2001 - 2003
AssociateDickinson Landmeier LLP1999 - 2001
Compliance/Licensing OfficerU.S. Treasury Department1996 - 1999
Compliance OfficerU.S. State Department1994 - 1995
Compliance OfficerU.S. Commerce Department1991 - 1994


Association NamePosition NameDuration
American Bar Association, International Law and Practice SectionVice-Chair, Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee2011 - 2012
Coalition for Excellence in Export ComplianceMember2010 - Present
19th Annual Meeting of Experts on Financial SanctionsU.S. Government Delegate1997 - 1997
American Bar AssociationMember1994 - Present
Society for International AffairsMember1994 - Present


Publication NameTitleDate
Global Trade and Customs Journal (Kluwer)U.S. Defense Trade Enforcement2010
Monograph on U.S. Defense Trade EnforcementMonograph on U.S. Defense Trade Enforcement2008
Society for International Affairs News NotesExport Controls Compliance: Don't Neglect OFAC1999


School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Widener University School of LawN/AJuris Doctor1991
La Salle UniversityEnglish; Criminal JusticeB.A.1988

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
Advanced ITAR Compliance ConferenceConducting Third Party Due Diligence2011
Advanced ITAR Compliance ConferenceExport Reform Update2011
Advanced ITAR Compliance ConferenceChair2011
2011 Spring International Defense Trade ConferenceRevised ITAR Policy on Dual/Third Country Nationals2011
Third National Forum on OFAC Enforcement & ComplianceThe Fundamentals of Compliance with U.S. Economic Sanctions Laws: OFAC Programs Demystified2010
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsCapitol Hill and Export Reform Update2010
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsITAR Civil Enforcement: A Pound of Cure and Then Some....2010
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsAre You an "Empowered" Official?2010
IT Management of Export ControlsControlling the IT Access of Foreign National Employees and Third Parties2010
IT Management of Export ControlsWorking with Your IT Department to Upgrade Your IT Compliance Strategy2010
Fifth National Forum on ITAR ComplianceMinimizing Third Party Liability2010
Fifth National Forum on Export Enforcement & InvestigationsDeemed Export Violations2010
Second National Forum on OFAC Enforcement & ComplianceConducting Sanctions Compliance Assessments2009
Fourth National Forum on ITAR CompliancePreventing Technical Data and Defense Services Export Violations2009
Fourth National Forum on Export Enforcement & InvestigationsDealing with Export Enforcement Agencies during Investigations2009
Aerospace and Defense Executive Roundtable on Export ControlsThe Global Export Control "Tsunami"2009
Third National Forum on ITAR ComplianceDealing with the State Department: How to Maintain Good Relations and What to Do if You Don't2008
Third National Forum on Export Enforcement & InvestigationsConference Co-Chair; The "Fine Art" of Dealing with Various Export Enforcement Agencies: Inter-Agency Cooperation and Expectations2008
Satellite 2008 Annual Conference and ExhibitionITAR Impact: What Does the Future Hold?2008
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsAre You an "Empowered" Official?2008
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsITAR Civil Enforcement: A Pound of Cure and Then Some....2008
First National Forum on OFAC Enforcement & ComplianceThe Fundamentals of Compliance with U.S. Economic Sanctions Laws: OFAC Programs Demystified2008
Second National Forum on ITAR ComplianceEmpowered Officials: Minimizing Exposure, Liability and Risk2007
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsAre You an "Empowered" Official?2007
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsITAR Part 130 Demystified2007
Mastering U.S. Export ControlsITAR Civil Enforcement: A Pound of Cure and Then Some....2007
Advanced Defense Trade Licensing ConferenceCommodity Classification and Jurisdiction2006
Eighth National Forum on Export ControlsOFAC Sanctions and Enforcement2005
Seventh National Export Controls & Global Trade Compliance ForumThe Latest Tactics for Expediting the Export Licensing Process2004
NCITD Monthly MeetingU.S. Sanctions Update2004
Defense Industry ComplianceNavigating Antiboycott Obligations and Strategies for OFAC Compliance2004
Continuing Legal Education SeriesU.S. Antiboycott Fundamentals2003
DII Best Practices ForumSanctions Compliance2000
IIA Monthly MeetingOverview of U.S. Sanctions1999
Export Process MeetingSanctions Compliance Issues1999
Coping with U.S. Export ControlsDealing with Trouble -- Enforcement: Criminal, Civil Administrative, Customs1999
Bureau of Export Administration Update SeminarOffice of Foreign Assets Control1999
Basic Defense Trade Licensing ConferenceOffice of Foreign Assets Control Licensing1999
Advanced Defense Trade Licensing ConferenceTransactions with Sanctioned Parties1999
Sanctions Compliance LuncheonKeynote Speech: Sanctions Compliance1998
Coping with U.S. Export ControlsDealing with Trouble -- Enforcement: Criminal, Civil Administrative, Customs1998
Bureau of Export Administration Update SeminarOffice of Foreign Assets Control1998
Basic Defense Trade Licensing ConferenceForeign National Compliance Issues1998
Bureau of Export Administration Update SeminarOffice of Foreign Assets Control1997
Bureau of Export Administration Update SeminarOffice of Foreign Assets Control1996