Clete Willems formally served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economics, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, and part of the National Security Council. He served as a key negotiator with foreign governments and bodies, including China, the European Union, and members of the G-7, G-20 and APEC, among others.

Prior to joining the White House, Mr. Willems served as Chief Counsel for Negotiations, Legislation, and Administrative Law at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where he focused on trade policy issues such as the enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws. He also held the positions of Legal Advisor to the U.S. Mission to the WTO and of Assistant General Counsel at USTR, arguing numerous dispute settlement cases before the WTO and participating in numerous international negotiations. Prior to joining USTR, Mr. Willems worked as Counsel on the House Budget Committee and in multiple positions, including Legislative Director, for then-Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Mr. Willems received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame.