Hon. Don Bonker
2015-2019Email Hon. Don
Washington State Appointee
Don Bonker is a former U. S. congressman and a leading authority on international trade and investment, with broad experience on foreign policy issues. He is an executive vice president at APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs firm.
Prior to joining APCO in 1989, Mr. Bonker served for 14 years in the United States House of Representatives from the State of Washington. He was a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, specializing in international trade, global environment and human rights issues. At various times, Mr. Bonker chaired important subcommittees, including the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade, Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations, and the Africa Subcommittee. Rep. Bonker also served on the Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee and is considered an authority on U. S. maritime policy.
During the 1980s, Rep. Bonker was widely viewed as a national authority and spokesman for the Democratic Party on international trade. He chaired Speaker’s (Tip O’Neill) Trade Task Force, which led to passage of the 1988 Omnibus Trade Act, headed the House Export Task Force, and authored or was principal sponsor of significant trade legislation, such as the Export Trading Company Act and the Export Administration Act. He is the author of America’s Trade Crisis, published by Houghton Mifflin (1986) and is a featured speaker and writer on U. S. trade policy.
Representing one of the most pristine areas of the country, Rep. Bonker led efforts to protect and preserve the state’s natural resources which are now environmental landmarks, including establishment of the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, adding Protection Island to the National Wildlife Refuge, preserving the Point of Arches in the Olympic National Park, and banning the export of Western Red Cedar. The “Don Bonker Cedar Grove Trail” was so named to honor his efforts to preserve the ancient cedar forest in Southwest Washington.
Don Bonker also serves as president of the International Management and Development Institute, a nonprofit educational organization that provides corporations with information and analysis on international economic and trade developments. Previously, he served as chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights Foundation (1992-1997), chairman of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust (1998-1991), and advisory board member of the U. S. Trade and Development Agency (1989-1991). Rep. Bonker is among the leaders who organize the National Prayer Breakfast, held in Washington every year.