WITA Webinar: Discussion of Trade and National Security with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)




On Wednesday, September 9th, WITA co-hosted a webinar with the American Leadership Initiative (ALI) with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Member of the House Ways & Means Committee.

Congresswoman Murphy was first elected in 2016. She is a member of the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee. She is a co-Chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, a member of the New Democrat Coalition, and is a Co-Chair of the New Democrat National Security Task Force. Congresswoman Murphy will be discussing trade and the impact on national security.

Program Agenda

Welcome and Opening Remarks 

  • Kenneth I. Levinson, Executive Director, Washington International Trade Association

Remarks and Discussion

  • Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Member, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Moderator: Dr. Orit Frenkel, Executive Director, American Leadership Initiative (ALI)

Followed by:

  • Q & A with Audience Moderated by Ken


U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. She currently serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee, where she is a member of the Subcommittee on Trade and the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support.

Previously, Congresswoman Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor after serving as a national security specialist in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards for her distinguished service, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. She worked on a wide range of security issues from counterterrorism to foreign military relations to strategic planning for the department. Prior to her public service, Stephanie was a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting. 

Congresswoman Murphy holds a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary. She lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her husband and two young children.

Dr. Orit Frenkel is the Executive Director of The American Leadership Initiative (ALI), a platform dedicated to developing policy initiatives to restore American global economic leadership in 2020 and beyond. In this capacity, she is working with members of Congress and their staff, as well as members of the think tank and business communities to develop smart new approaches to trade, development and diplomacy. 

Dr. Frenkel is also the is the founder and President of Frenkel Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in Asia policy and market access issues, trade policy as well as training programs for foreign government officials. She is a Senior Advisor to APCO Worldwide and to Asia Group Advisors, an ASEAN based consulting firm as well as an Adjunct Fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Prior to starting the ALI and Frenkel Strategies, Dr. Frenkel was the Senior Manager for GE Global Government Affairs for 26 years. In that position, she was responsible for advising the GE businesses on government relations, trade, investment and CSR issues in ASEAN, North and Central Asia, as well as in the CIS countries. Orit’s extensive experience working with US and foreign governments, as well as with a variety of stakeholders, resulted in billions of dollars of GE sales. She worked with U.S. and multilateral financing institutions to obtain financing for GE’s transactions.

She led GE’s policy and advocacy on every trade issue including, TPP, KORUS, Russia and China WTO accession, Uruguay Round, NAFTA and other trade policy issues. She coordinated GE’s policy and strategy development, developed messaging and led coordination and consensus building among stakeholders in GE and the larger business community, trade associations, think tanks, and other stakeholders.

Dr. Frenkel started her career working in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where she was the Director for Trade in High Technology Products and Deputy Director for Trade with Japan and spent a 9-month detail working for Congressman Lee Hamilton. 

She is the author of numerous articles on trade policy issues, as well as a book on the negotiation of the US-Israel Free Trade Area. She has served on the board or Executive Committee of numerous trade associations, including the Emergency Committee for American Trade, US-ASEAN Business Council, the US-China Business Council, US-Japan Business Council, US-Russia Business Council, US-Kazakhstan Business Council, the US-Uzbekistan Business Council, the US-Kyrgyzstan and US-Tajikistan Business Council, and has led many ad-hoc coalitions and advisory groups.

Dr. Frenkel received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland (Phi Beta Kappa), an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in International Economics from John Hopkins University.

Kenneth Levinson is the Executive Director of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). WITA is Washington’s largest non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum in the U.S. campital for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA has over 3,500 members, and more than 170 corporate sponsors and group memberships. 

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, where he served as the Senator’s chief advisor for international trade, tax, foreign policy, and national security.

Ken received a Master’s degree in European History 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.