About Dennis Cuneo

Dennis Cuneo Alabama

Dennis Cuneo at an expansion announcement of Toyota’s Alabama Plant

Over the last forty years, Dennis Cuneo has enjoyed a wide ranging career, starting as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, then an auto executive, and eventually becoming one of the most respected site selection advisors in the country. He is a Regional Managing Partner at Fisher & Phillips, LLP, a national labor law firm, and the head of his own advisory firm, DC Strategic Advisors LLC. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated his expertise in law, business, workforce development and economic development, solving myriad challenges in a variety of capacities, most notably as the Senior Vice President of Toyota, where he played a pivotal role in launching and expanding Toyota’s North American manufacturing operations. In addition to serving on the Boards of two Fortune 500 companies, Dennis has served on the boards of universities, economic development organizations, and research groups. Not only has he helped to make various businesses profitable, but he has also contributed to the economic development of many communities.

From his start as a Trial Attorney at the Department of Justice, Dennis Cuneo moved into the private sector with the Arent Fox law firm in Washington D.C. After successfully representing New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture between G.M. and Toyota, in “one of the most intensive, thorough antitrust reviews ever undertaken”, he became General Counsel to NUMMI and eventually its Vice President, where he not only handled legal, environmental and governmental affairs, but played a key role on the company’s bargaining team with the UAW, which negotiated a labor agreement deemed “an industrial breakthrough” by the New York Times. It allowed Toyota to introduce its “lean production” system into the U.S., transforming the GM Fremont plant into one of the best performing automotive manufacturing plants in the country.

In 1996, he was named as Vice President of Toyota’s newly formed manufacturing headquarters in the Cincinnati suburb of Erlanger, Kentucky. He was later promoted to Senior Vice President and then moved to Toyota Motor North America in Manhattan, where he was the ranking American executive. He retired from Toyota in 2006 after 22 years with the company, and established his own advisory firm, DC Strategic Advisors LLC, that advises businesses and economic development associations on various challenges. He remains actively involved in the auto industry as a consultant, and serving on the Boards of three major automotive suppliers and the Center for Automotive Research, a leading industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dennis has become a highly sought-after voice for industry conferences, educational forums and publications. He is regularly asked to speak and economic development and industry conferences. He has spoken at over 100 events, ranging from MIT’s International Vehicle Programs in Berlin and Beijing to Brookings Energy Security Roundtable. He has written for several publications, and is often quoted by the media and book authors on automotive, labor and economic development issues.
Here on this website, you can find the content and materials for Dennis Cuneo’s speeches, presentations, and publications. If there is a particular lecture or presentation that you are seeking, please use the form on the contact page to send a request.