WITA Staff

Kenneth I. Levinson

Chief Executive Officer

Ken Levinson serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) and Washington International Trade Foundation. 

WITA is the world’s largest non-profit, non-partisan membership organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA and its affiliated groups have over 10,000 members, and more than 160 corporate sponsors and group memberships.

Ken has over 30 years of experience working with companies, associations, NGOs and governments, advocating innovative solutions to complex public policy challenges. Over the years, Ken has worked with clients in the technology, telecommunications, biopharmaceuticals, agriculture and food, financial services, retail, apparel, energy, and consumer products sectors.

Previously, Ken served as Senior Director for Global Government Affairs for AstraZeneca. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Ken served as Senior Vice President and COO at the Washington, DC consulting firm of Fontheim International. Ken joined Fontheim after spending six years on the staff of U.S. Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV.  Ken advised the Senator on foreign policy and national security matters, and served as the Senator’s chief advisor on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, dealing with issues related to international trade and tax policy.

Ken received his Master’s Degree from New York University after doing his undergraduate work at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst. Ken also spent a year studying at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Ken and his wife, the Reverend Donna Marsh, live in Bethesda, MD, with their two daughters.

202-312-1600 (Office)

Diego Añez

WITA Academy Executive Director

WITA Managing Director

Diego Añez is the Managing Director of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) and the Executive Director of the WITA Academy. He is responsible for management of operations, policy programs, strategic engagements and member services for the organization’s 5000+ members and corporate sponsors across all 50 states and over 100 countries worldwide. He provides direction, with the WITA CEO and Board of Directors, to WITA’s portfolio of programming and capstone events, such as the Washington International Trade Conference and Annual Dinner.

Diego also spearheads the organization’s WITA Academy – a program of the Washington International Trade Foundation which strives to make trade education and career opportunities in international trade accessible to communities in the United States and around the world. The mission of the WITA Academy is to make the trade community itself more diverse and inclusive.

Diego is originally from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia and was raised in Mobile, Alabama. Diego graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with concentrations in International Political Economy and Comparative Politics.

202-312-1600 (Office)

Maya Ghazi

Program Associate

Maya Ghazi is the Program Associate at the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). She joined WITA in October 2022 as the WITA Academy Fellow. Her enthusiasm and positive outlook will continue to foster a collaborative and supportive environment reflective of WITA’s mission.

She has experience in the field of Arabic-English translation. She has also taught in the fields of English, Math and Science at Al-Wataniah Syrian National School in Damascus, Syria.

Maya is fluent in both Arabic and English; and has professional working proficiency in French. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Damascus University. She grew up spending time between both Damascus, Syria and Dassel, Minnesota.

Thomas Sand Nielsen

WITA Academy Fellow

Thomas Nielsen is the 2023/24 Washington International Trade Association (WITA) Academy Fellow. He recently graduated from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, where he obtained his Master of Arts in International Economic Policy with a specialization in International Business.

During his studies, Thomas focused on international economics and trade issues. He learned to model the effects of trade policies by studying economic theory while he worked on various research projects examining trade flows and opportunities for trade. He recently completed his capstone project focusing on the European fertilizer industry.

Originally from Denmark, Thomas is now residing in Washington, D.C. and is eager to start his career within the field of international trade. He will be working on boosting the WITA Academy program and helping to facilitate the exchange of knowledge within the trade community in the nation’s capital.

Rafael Augusto Centeno

WITA Academy Fellow

Rafael Augusto is the 2024-25 WITA Academy Fellow. He is a graduate from Florida International University – Honors College, where he obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business. His main interests include gaining practical experience and insights into the role of international trade in the U.S. economy and economic development of Latin America.

After obtaining his Associate in Arts Degree from The College of the Florida Keys, Rafael transferred to FIU for his BBA in International Business. 

Raised in Venezuela and a former Rotary International exchange student in Germany, he is fluent in Spanish and has advanced knowledge of German. In the future, Rafael Augusto hopes to improve his intercultural literacy skills and contribute to the improvement of our evolving globalized world.

Zabei Frank


Zabei Frank is an Intern at the Washington International Trade Association. She is a rising junior at Pomona College in Claremont, California, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. At Pomona, she is primarily involved with the Pomona Consulting Group and Claremont Journal of International Relations, and she recently completed a District Office internship with Congresswoman Norma Torres this past spring. She is originally from Conway, Arkansas, but she lived in Yangon, Burma for two years. This sourced her interest in global development and specifically, how international trade policy influences such processes. 

In previous years, she has worked for NGOs such as the U.S. Campaign for Burma and Women’s League of Burma, but she is incredibly excited to learn more about international trade through WITA. She is also eager to experience the ways in which various companies, associations, public servants, and communities transform innovative collaboration into tangible leadership within the trade community.

Nina Pollak


Nina Pollak is a member of the 2024 Washington International Trade Association (WITA) Summer 2024 Internship Team. She is an undergraduate student-athlete at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas pursuing a double major in Political Science and Business with a minor in Spanish language. Following her undergraduate studies, Nina plans to pursue a law degree and is specifically interested in international business law. 

As a Washington D.C. native, Nina had her interest in public policy and commerce peeked when working as a fellow for the Brooke Lierman for Maryland Comptroller campaign. Nina is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the WITA team this summer and learn more about the inner workings of the international trade community. Outside of her internship with WITA, this summer she will be volunteering to teach English in the DC area and training for her upcoming soccer season when she returns to Trinity in the Fall.

Jake Levine


Jake Levine is an intern at the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) for summer of 2024. He is a senior at American University in Washington, D.C., studying Public Relations and Marketing. 

Previously, Jake interned at Back on My Feet, a nonprofit organization focused on assisting individuals in achieving economic independence. There, he helped integrate artificial intelligence and technology into a key department to increase operational efficiency. Before that, Jake was an intern at TeamPeople, a media agency focused on helping brands effectively tell their stories. There, he developed and implemented strategies to increase internal and external engagement for the company. 

At AU, Jake has been involved in multiple on-campus organizations, including serving as Vice President of the Kogod School of Business Undergraduate Council. As Vice President, he led the council’s operations to serve as the unifying voice for over 500 students in the business school. This summer, Jake looks forward to gaining experience in international trade policy and continuing to expand his skill set.

Kate Wandsnider


Kate Wandsnider is a member of the 2024 Washington International Trade Association (WITA) Summer Internship Team. She is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is in her fourth year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, working on her undergraduate degree in Global Studies, with minors in Arabic Studies and Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Kate is also involved with the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the university, which connects her with opportunities and mentors to interact with international trade topics.

She recently completed an internship with ECHO Collective, a local non-profit that provides new American women with programming to assist with community integration as well as entrepreneurial skills. Upon graduation, she plans to apply to volunteer with the Peace Corps before attending graduate school.

Throughout her studies, Kate has developed an interest in global development, specifically in the MENA region. Through this internship, she is eager to learn more about the international trade sector and its influence on development.


General Inquiries: For more information, please contact us at events@wita.org