Francisco J. Sánchez, co-head of the firm's International Trade Practice, is a partner in Holland & Knight's Tampa and Washington, D.C., offices who focuses his practice on trade policy, regulation and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process including mitigation measures. Mr. Sánchez has a long and distinguished career in the public and private sectors.

Mr. Sánchez served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Trade until 2013, a role former President Barack Obama nominated him to in 2009. As Under Secretary, Mr. Sánchez led the International Trade Administration (ITA) in its efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. businesses compete abroad. As one of the architects of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Mr. Sánchez directed programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses. Mr. Sanchez also oversaw the ITA's role in the CFIUS.

During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Sánchez served as the assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Prior to the DOT role, he served in the White House as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton, and chief of staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Sánchez was the chairman and CEO of CNS Global Advisors, providing strategic advice to companies and governments looking to expand in or resolve issues in foreign markets, including the U.S. Mr. Sánchez also serves as an advisor to a private equity firm concentrating on investment opportunities in the Arctic.

Representative Experience


  • Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, M.A., Public Administration
  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D.
  • Florida State University, B.A., Business and Spanish
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • The Aspen Institue, Latinos and Society Advisory Board, Chair
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Board of Directors
  • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Former Member on Board of Directors
  • McLarty Associates, Board of Counselors
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Former Member on Board of Directors
  • The Brookings Institute, Former Non-Resident Fellow
  • Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow, Economic Advisory Team
Honors & Awards
  • 100 Most Influential Latinos, Bloomberg Línea, 2022
  • Hispanic Business magazine, 100 Most Influential Hispanics
  • Poder Magazine, Top Hispanics Nationwide
  • National Points of Light Award, Recipient
  • Governor's Points of Light Award for Outstanding Community Service, Florida, Recipient
  • Alumni Hall of Fame, Boys and Girls Club of America


Speaking Engagements