Steve Lamar, American Apparel & Footwear Association.
- Vice President: Stephanie Lester, Gap, Inc.
- Treasurer: Nicole Bivens Collinson, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A.
- Secretary: Sarah Thorn, WalMart Stores, Inc.
- Craig Albright, BSA I The Software Alliance
Ralph Carter, FedEx Express
- Paul H. DeLaney, III, Business Roundtable
- Dorothy Dwoskin, d2Strategies LLC
- Kimberly Ellis, Monument Advocacy
- Audrae Erickson, RB
- Suzanna Fisher, Embassy of Australia
- Ed Gresser, USTR
- Timothy Keeler, Mayer Brown LLP
- Katrin Kuhlmann, New Markets Lab
- Sophia Lafargue, Office of Congressman Gregory Meeks
- Lisa Pearlman, Apple
- Alexander Perkins, FCA US LLC
- Lisa Schroeter, The Dow Chemical Company
- Michael Smart, Rock Creek Global Advisors
- Arun Venkataraman, Visa
- Darci Vetter, Edelman
Craig Albright is the Vice President of Legislative Strategy at BSA I The Software Alliance. He was formerly the World Bank’s Special Representative for North America, responsible for managing the World Bank’s relations with the United States and Canada, including governments, the private sector, think tanks and other organizations.
Craig has also spent over 12 years working in the US government. In the White House (2005-2008), he served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs and Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for Legislative Affairs.
In Congress (1997-2005, 2008-2010), his positions included Chief of Staff for former Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger. His primary focus throughout his career has been on international economic issues including trade, foreign assistance, sanctions and others.
Nicole Bivens Collinson leads the International Trade and Government relations practice of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and serves as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office.
Ms. Collinson has over 25 years of experience in government, public affairs and lobbying. She has drafted and guided the successful implementation of several pieces of key international trade legislation positively affecting the bottom line of many U.S. companies. Clients have saved millions of dollars through the successful drafting, guidance and passage of legislation that reduces or eliminates duties — crafting creative measures to benefit clients such as blocking changes to the First Sale doctrine, Miscellaneous Tariff Bills, specific trade preference legislation, the Generalized System of Preferences, etc. Such a track record demonstrates her ability to effectively move your agenda forward.
Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Collinson served as assistant chief negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, responsible for the negotiation of bilateral agreements with Latin America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, the Sub-Continent and Africa. She also served as a country specialist in the International Trade Administration at the Department of Commerce, where she was responsible for the preparation of negotiations on specific topics between the U.S. and Latin America, Eastern Europe, China and Hong Kong, as well as the administration of complex textile agreements.
Ralph Carter is Managing Director of Legal, Trade & International Affairs at FedEx Express. Mr. Carter is responsible for FedEx regulatory and international affairs including trade policy. Mr. Carter’s team advocates for simpler, more open trade rules that reduce barriers and help FedEx customers expand their international business. Mr. Carter is a frequent speaker and contributor to international trade events and initiatives including at APEC, the WTO, World Bank, World Economic Forum and the Business 20 (“B20”). Mr. Carter’s work has helped FedEx become a respected global leader in the trade policy community.
Before establishing the FedEx Legal, Trade & International Affairs office in Washington, DC, Mr. Carter was Managing Director in the legal department of FedEx’s Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Brussels Belgium. Prior to FedEx Mr. Carter served in the State Department as Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union.
Dorothy Dwoskin is the Principal at d2Strategies LLC, a consulting firm focused on international trade and economic policy, working with clients on a variety of issues. Her work builds on her expertise as a trade negotiator and a tech policy official. In addition to the WITA Board, she remains active with the Washington Council on International Trade, based in Seattle.
From 2007-2017 Dorothy was Senior Director of Global Trade Policy and Strategy at Microsoft, and a member of its Federal Government team in Washington D.C., leading the company’s policy efforts to promote open markets and fair trade in software and services, collaborating with government agencies, Congress, international organizations, and foreign governments. She worked extensively on Microsoft’s agenda with China and other Microsoft subsidiaries pursuing the company’s global interests in the trade area, including the intersection of trade policy and cloud policy.
From 1978-2007, Dorothy was a member of the career staff at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), serving in many positions, including USTR’s Geneva Office. Before her departure, she was a member of the Senior Executive Service. Dorothy served as the Assistant USTR for the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Multilateral Affairs at USTR. In that position she was responsible for trade negotiations and policy matters before the WTO, in the Doha Round and the Uruguay Round. She served as lead U.S. negotiator on a variety of trade policy issues, including the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), and led the negotiating teams setting the terms of membership for countries acceding to the WTO. She led teams resulting in successful bilateral WTO market access agreements with Russia and the Ukraine, and concluded membership negotiations for the accession of Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
Paul H. DeLaney, III leads Business Roundtable trade and international policy and advocacy efforts and oversees the Trade and International Committee, advocating for trade and international economic policies that promote U.S. growth, competitiveness and jobs.
Prior to joining Business Roundtable, Paul was a Partner at the Kyle House Group where he advised clients and led advocacy on international trade, customs, investment, tax and business policy working with a wide-range of sectors and organizations.
Paul served as International Trade Counsel to Chairman Orrin G. Hatch for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and advised Senators and their staff on trade, investment, customs and international economic issues. Paul assisted with Finance Committee hearings and legislative markups, drafted trade legislation and amendments, briefed Senators and staff, consulted with the Administration and trade agencies, and met with stakeholders and foreign governments. Paul assisted in managing the Senate floor during the consideration of seven trade bills.
Before joining the Finance Committee, Paul worked as Senior Attorney for Trade and International Affairs at FedEx Express. He advocated on behalf of FedEx Express to shape trade policies, trade agreements and international regulatory policies that impacted the company’s international operations and investments. He was appointed to serve on Industry and Trade Advisory Committee 10 on Services and Finance by the Bush and the Obama Administrations.
Prior to joining FedEx Express, Paul worked at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and served as Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Trade Representatives Rob Portman and Susan C. Schwab. Paul was integrally involved in strategic planning, agency operations, and decision-making with senior political and career staff.
Before joining USTR, Paul was a litigation associate at Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Washington D.C. Paul attended Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Paul has lectured at the University of Virginia School of Law, the Georgetown McDonough School of Business, and Georgetown University on international trade and disputes, as well as speaking at a wide range of association meetings and conferences.
Paul received his B.A. in Political Science from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Kimberly Thompson Ellis is Vice President at Monument Policy Group. Kimberly works closely with the firm’s clients as they navigate issues before key Congressional committees, including the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, and federal agencies. She has worked extensively on corporate tax reform, communicating the impact of specific provisions, monitoring developments, and guiding clients through the maze of legislative efforts. Kimberly also advocates for clients engaged in major trade negotiations, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and Congressional renewal of the Trade Promotion Authority and other pending trade legislation.
Prior to her current position, she served as Legislative Director to Congressman Kevin Brady; Congressman Brady is the Chairman of the Trade Sub-Committee of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and Deputy Republican Whip. Ms. Ellis oversees the Congressman’s comprehensive legislative agenda and advises him on key issues before the United States Congress, including on trade. In her capacity as Legislative Director, she supports such priorities as passage of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, and the Congressman’s leadership on the Congressional Services Caucus, the Caucus for World Bank Dialogue, and the Caucus for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Ms. Ellis served at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as Confidential Assistant and Deputy Executive Secretary to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, and as Trade Advisor in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, P.A. Ms. Ellis was named one of the Top Ten Trade and Tax Staffers of 2009 by Roll Call.
She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor’s degree in history. She and her husband Rich have one child and live in Arlington, VA.
Audrae Erickson is Vice President at Mead Johnson. She has served on the WITA Board of Directors since 2002. Audrae Erickson joined Mead Johnson Nutrition in January 2013 as its Vice President, External & Public Affairs. In this role, Erickson will develop strategies to address external regulatory, policy and public environment issues affecting the company in the United States and global markets.
Prior to joining Mead Johnson Nutrition, Audrae Erickson was the president of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) based in Washington, D.C. Before joining the CRA, Erickson served as the senior director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), where she specialized in agricultural trade issues including trade policy, negotiations, dispute settlement, trade promotion authority and matters involving the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). In 1999, Erickson founded the Ag Trade Coalition to promote U.S. agricultural interests on WTO negotiating objectives. Prior to her tenure at AFBF, Erickson served as director of agricultural affairs at the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office. Erickson was responsible for oversight of all trade issues pertaining to sweeteners, horticultural crops, biotechnology, and sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade. She also oversaw agriculture policy matters related to the FTAA and the North American Free Trade Agreement and represented USTR at the WTO Committee on Agriculture meetings. Before taking the position at USTR, Erickson served as an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service where she specialized in trade and environment issues.
Erickson earned a Master of Arts degree in economics as a Rotary scholar from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Arts degrees in economics/business and French at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Erickson resides in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Suzanna Fisher is the First Secretary at the Embassy of Australia, in the United States of America.
Ed Gresser was the Director of the ProgressiveEconomy project of the GlobalWorks Foundation in 2011, and is Senior Advisor to Fontheim International. He is one of America’s best-known and most influential trade policy researchers, having conducted path-breaking research on the American tariff system and its effects on low-income American families and poorer nations, trade relations with the Muslim world, Asian economic integration and other topics.
Gresser came to GlobalWorks after two years at the Democratic Leadership Council, where he served as Trade and Global Markets Director and as interim President. Before joining DLC, Mr. Gresser was Trade and Global Markets Director for the Progressive Policy Institute from 2001 to 2009. From April 1998 through the close of the Clinton Administration in 2001, he served as Policy Advisor to U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky. Earlier, as Legislative Assistant and then Policy Director for Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) between 1993 and 1998, Mr. Gresser was responsible for trade and foreign policy, with particular focus on relations with China.
Mr. Gresser graduated from Stanford University with Distinction in Political Science in 1984. He earned a Master’s Degree from Columbia University and a Certificate from the Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union in 1987. He is married to Siriporn Gresser, and they have one son.
Tim Keeler, an attorney in the Government and International Trade Group, joined Mayer Brown in 2009, and brings an in-depth knowledge of international trade law and economic policy matters, and a history of working in the Executive Branch and Congress on major economic, legislative and regulatory issues.
Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Tim served in a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Government for almost 12 years. Most recently he was the Chief of Staff in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) from 2006 – 2009, where he oversaw implementation of U.S. policy, strategy and negotiations involving all aspects of international trade and investment matters. He worked on a number of key issues including: climate change and trade; US and China relations; WTO negotiations and litigation; free trade agreement negotiations and implementation; and CFIUS decisions.
In recognition of his government service, Tim was awarded the USTR Distinguished Service Award, the Treasury Distinguished Service Award, and the Treasury Secretary’s Honor Award twice.
Katrin Kuhlmann is the President and Founder of the New Markets Lab, a non-profit law and development center. She is also a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and she serves as a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Her areas of focus include trade and development, economic law and regulation, entrepreneurship, regional trade, and international legal and regulatory reform. She is published widely and frequently speaks on these topics, and she has testified before Congress on several occasions.
Ms. Kuhlmann is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Law and International Development Society (LIDS) at Harvard and Georgetown Law Schools, the Advisory Group of the Global Food Security Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Bretton Woods Committee, the Trade Policy Forum, and the Trade, Finance, and Development Experts Group of the E15 Initiative led by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum. She serves on the boards of the Washington International Trade Association and Malaika Foundation and is a member of the Portland Communications Advisory Council.
Ms. Kuhlmann was previously a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School and a Senior Advisor at the Corporate Council on Africa. Earlier in her career, she was trade negotiator at USTR and practiced international law at Skadden Arps and Dewey Ballantine. Before founding the New Markets Lab, she held leadership positions in several non-profit organizations and think tanks, including positions as a Senior Fellow and Director at the Aspen Institute and Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.
Sophia Lafargue is Chief of Staff to Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-05). Her policy portfolio includes all international trade and foreign affairs related issues with special emphasis on trade capacity building in emerging economies, and the linkages between geopolitics and economic policy. For over a decade, Ms. Lafargue has actively supported the advancement of all major trade legislation in Congress.
Since 2005, Ms. Lafargue has been the top trade advisor and primary leadership liaison for Representative Meeks who is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee; Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats; and Co-Chair of the Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Caucus. Ms. Lafargue is known for her bipartisan approach to legislating, and her understanding of the real world implications of policy making. She is a well-traveled and highly regarded foreign policy expert that is often at the table with think tanks, non-government organizations, the private sector, and government stakeholders alike. She works collaboratively with U.S. entities globally to promote American interests abroad. Her ties extend beyond Capitol Hill. With strong political connections to New York, she has effectively leveraged her influence toward fortifying the services sector in challenging times, and to benefit New York City and State’s economic development.
Ms. Lafargue is a graduate of Queens College – City University of New York, and Harvard University.
Stephen E. Lamar is President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the national trade association representing more than 1,000 brands in the apparel and footwear industry. Steve leads a dedicated team of professionals who represent AAFA members before the government, through the media, and in industry settings on key brand protection, supply chain and manufacturing, and trade issues. Steve also advises AAFA member companies on legislation and regulatory policies. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Steve served as Executive Vice President for the association.
Prior to AAFA, Steve spent more than a decade engaged in international public policy work, including stints at the U.S. Commerce Department and in the Peace Corps. As runner, juggler, and genealogist in his spare time, Steve is President of the Washington International Trade Association. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colgate University and a Master of Arts Degree in International Affairs (with a concentration on African politics and international trade) from George Washington University.
Stephanie Lester is the Senior Director for Government Affairs at Gap Inc. In this capacity, she leads Gap Inc.’s government affairs team and manages the company’s relations with elected officials on the federal, state, and local levels. Ms. Lester was previously Vice President for International Trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). In that role, she advocated on behalf of the largest, most successful retailers on international trade, customs, and product safety issues.
From 2001-2006, Ms. Lester served as a professional staff member for the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. In that capacity, she advised members of the Committee on a variety of trade matters including free trade agreements, WTO negotiations on rules and dispute settlement, trade preference programs, U.S. trade remedy laws, and investment. Ms. Lester also worked as an international trade analyst at the U.S. Department of Commerce and later served as the Chief of Staff for the Assistant Secretary for Import Administration.
Ms. Lester holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Multinational Business from Florida State University, and a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. Ms. Lester serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington International Trade Association and is currently Vice President.
Lisa Pearlman is the Head of Global Trade and International Affairs at Apple. In this role, she leads the company’s trade and other international economic policy work. Prior to joining Apple, Lisa was counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and practiced law at the firm of WilmerHale. She holds both law and undergraduate degrees from Harvard.
Alexander Perkins is a Senior Manager of International Government Affairs at Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group (FCA) LLC. Alex joined FCA in 2012 after working for fifteen years in politics, government service and law. Prior to joining Chrysler in 2012, Alex served as Trade Counsel on the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee, managing a wide range of trade-related issues. Alex chairs the National Association of Manufacturers Customs Working Group and co-chairs the American Association of Exporters and Importers Trade Policy Committee and the Business Coalition for Transatlantic Trade Customs Working Group. He also serves on the National Foreign Trade Council Board of Directors. Alex resides in the Washington D.C. area with his wife and two daughters.
Lisa Schroeter is the Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for The Dow Chemical Company. As part of the corporate Government Affairs & Public Policy team, Lisa has direct responsibilities for defining and managing the company’s global trade agenda as well as developing strategy on the international aspects of key corporate issues. Based in Washington, DC, Lisa’s responsibilities focus on trade policy and legislation, trade negotiations, and investment issues that foster growth in Dow’s global businesses through identification of policies facilitating market access and reducing global distribution costs.
Before joining Dow, Lisa was the Executive Director of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD is a unique trade-facilitation process by which American and European corporations work with the U.S. Administration and the European Commission to implement practical, detailed recommendations. Lisa was responsible for staffing the U.S. Chair CEO, working with the issue committees to develop and promote their recommendations, and facilitating business and government interaction. Ms. Schroeter joined TABD in 1999, and managed the process on behalf of the Boeing Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Technologies Corporation and Xerox.
Lisa is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); President-Elect of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and a Board Member of the Washington International Trade Association, US Council for International Business the US-ASEAN Business Council and Cultural Tourism, DC. She serves as the Chair of the ICCA Trade Network and Global Regulatory Cooperation task forces as well as the US Business Committee of the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN).
Michael Smart is Vice President of Rock Creek Global Advisors. Prior to his current position, he was International Trade Counsel on the Democratic Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. His areas of responsibility included World Trade Organization negotiations and dispute settlement, trade enforcement, agricultural trade, and trade and the environment.
Before joining the Finance Committee, Mr. Smart was Director for International Trade and Investment on the staff of the National Security Council. Mr. Smart was previously an associate at the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP and the Legislative Director for Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND).
Mr. Smart received his B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He joined the WITA Board in 2011.
Sarah Thorn is the Senior Director of Federal Government Relations for Walmart, where she is primarily responsible for international trade and investment issues. She is involved in legislative initiatives and trade negotiations (both regional and WTO) that affect Walmart’s retail and distribution rights overseas. In addition, she works to eliminate import and export tariff and non-tariff barriers that impact Walmart sourcing. Sarah also manages office administration, strategy and planning.
Before joining Walmart, Sarah worked for seven years at the Grocery Manufacturers Association where she led the food, beverage and consumer products industry advocacy on international trade issues. Sarah has also worked as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and served as an international relations representative with AMP Incorporated. Sarah began her career in Washington as a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Information Agency.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative area studies and comparative literature from Duke University.
Arun Venkataraman is Senior Director, Head of International Affairs, advancing Visa’s global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions. Prior to joining Visa, he was Trade & Investment Policy Advisor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he counseled multinational firms and other organizations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights, and U.S. and foreign trade policies.
Arun has more than 15 years of experience advising officials at the highest levels of government on trade and economic policy, including in the Office of the US Trade Representative and the US Department of Commerce, and as a Legal Officer in the World Trade Organization. As the first ever Director of Policy at the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, Arun helped shape the US government’s responses to critical challenges faced by firms in the US and in markets around the world, including China and India, and led the International Trade Administration’s efforts to conclude negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and secure passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation. Prior to serving at the Department of Commerce, Arun spent several years in policy and legal roles at the Office of the US Trade Representative. Arun led the development and implementation of US-India trade policy as the Director for India, and, as Associate General Counsel, represented the United States in litigation before the World Trade Organization and in negotiations on international trade agreements. Arun also served as a Legal Officer for the Appellate Body Secretariat of the WTO, advising the seven Members of the Appellate Body on a wide range of issues raised in appeals of trade disputes between countries.
Arun holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a B.A. in International Relations and French Literature from Tufts University.
Ambassador Darci Vetter is the lead at Edelman’s Washington, DC Public Affairs practice and is the former Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the US Trade Representative (USTR) and Under Secretary at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Darci brings deep international trade, agriculture and food experience following a 17-year career in the federal government, and is spearheading the growth of Edelman’s global Agriculture, Food and Trade business.In her role, Darci works closely with Edelman’s clients to help develop strategies that best navigate the changing policy landscape. Areas of expertise include helping translate US, foreign government or WTO processes to business; reviewing and adjusting supply chains to respond to government mandates and consumer demands; supporting the development of formal commentary on regulatory matters; and adapting corporate messaging and branding to reflect broad policy changes.