President, U.S. Business & Industry Council (USBIC)
Kevin L. Kearns is the President of both the United States Business and Industry Council, and its affiliate, the United States Business and Industry Council Educational Foundation. The Council is a national non-profit organization representing the interests of 1,000 companies, mainly family-owned and closely-held businesses, before the U.S. Congress and the Executive Branch. The Foundation is the research arm of the Council, and in addition runs a college speakers program and a student newspaper syndicate.
Prior to joining the Council and Foundation, Mr. Kearns was a Senior Fellow at the Manufacturing Policy Project and the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in business, international trade, and American industrial competitiveness issues. From 1977-90, Mr. Kearns was a career Foreign Service Officer holding a wide variety of positions both in Washington and abroad. His final position with State was Director, Office of Strategic Trade Policy, where he was responsible for overseeing U.S. government policy on commercial use of space, satellites, supercomputers, export controls, and missile non-proliferation.
During his time with the State Department, Mr. Kearns was posted in Frankfurt, Bonn, Seoul, and Tokyo. He served in diverse positions, including economic and commercial officer, political officer, Ambassador's aide, and Defense Exchange Officer at the Pentagon. In Tokyo he was the Deputy Chief, Mutual Defense Assistance Office, and was deeply involved in the FSX fighter plane negotiations. While serving in Washington, Mr. Kearns was a political-military officer overseeing U.S. security assistance programs to Latin America. He participated in the Grenada rescue operation in 1981 and spent significant time in El Salvador during the civil war there. While serving as Philippine desk officer, he was sent to Mindanao as an election observer during the Marcos-Aquino presidential election of 1986.
Mr. Kearns received a State Department fellowship to serve as a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he played a significant role in the FSX and Chinese-launch-of-U.S.-satellites debates. Before joining State, Mr. Kearns was campaign manager and then legislative counsel to N.Y. State Senator Sheldon Farber. He has testified before numerous Congressional committees including the Senate's Foreign Relations, Finance, and Judiciary Committees and the House's Foreign Affairs, Budget, and Energy and Commerce Committees. He recently appeared before the U.S. China Security Review Commission.