Add to Calendar 2018/09/05 8:30 AM 2018/09/06 4:00 PM America/New_York 2018 WITA-GWU Intensive Trade Seminar GWU Elliott School of International Affairs
Past event, WITA event

2018 WITA-GWU Intensive Trade Seminar

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 8:30 AM - Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 4:00 PM (EST)
GWU Elliott School of International Affairs GWU Elliott School of International Affairs | 1957 E St. NW | 7th Floor | Washington DC

Panel Topics & Speakers

Speakers are career trade policymakers from the US Government and Capitol Hill, the private sector, NGO’s, and other players in the trade policy arena. We carefully select speakers with years of experience on their given topic, as well as an ability to convey that experience clearly to students.

Seminar I: Trade Responsibilities in the Executive Branch and the Interagency Process

  • Marideth Sandler, CEO and International Trade Advisor, Sandler Trade LLC

Marideth’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 1 - Marideth Sandler

Seminar II: The Trade Law Toolbox: Trade Remedies

  • Stephen Claeys, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP; Former Trade Counsel, U.S. House Ways & Means Committee; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, International Trade Administration
  • Stacy J. Ettinger, Partner, K&L Gates; Former Senior Legal and Policy Advisor to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer; Former Associate Chief Counsel for Import Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Stephen and Stacy’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 2 - Stephen Claeys and Stacy Ettinger

Seminar III: Numerical Soup: The Use of Trade Laws to Achieve Policy Objectives

  • Scott Paul, President, Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM)
  • Susan K. Ross, Partner, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Scott’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 3 - Scott Paul

Susan’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 3- Susan Ross

Seminar IV: NextGenTrade® – Digital Trade and Services: The Future of Trade in the 21st Century

  • Stephen Ezell, Vice President, Global Innovation Policy, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
  • Christine Bliss, President, Coalition of Services Industries

Stephen’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 4 - Stephen Ezell

Christine’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 4 - Christine Bliss

Seminar V: The Future of Multilateral Organizations

  • Ambassador Rufus Yerxa, President, National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC); Former Deputy USTR; Former Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization
  • Ambassador Alan Larson, Senior Advisor, Covington & Burling LLP; Former Under Secretary of State for Economics and Assistant Secretary of State for Economics and Business Affairs; Former Ambassador to the OECD

Seminar VI: The Congressional Role in Trade Policy-Making

  • Angela Ellard, International Trade Counsel & Staff Director, U.S. House Ways & Means Committee

Seminar VII: Update on the NAFTA (Re)Negotiation

  • Carrie Goodge O’Brien, Counsellor (Trade Policy), Embassy of Canada
  • Kellie Meiman Hock, Managing Partner, McLarty Associates

Seminar VIII: What’s the Problem with China? Addressing Issues in the US-China Trade Relationship

  • Derek Scissors, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
  • Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, International Trade & Government Relations, Sandler Travis & Rosenberg P.A.

Seminar IX: Impacts of a Trade War: A Look at the Data

  • Laura M. Baughman, President The Trade Partnership and Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC

Seminar X: Investment Reform, Export Controls, and Sanctions

  • Nova Daly, Senior Public Policy Advisor, Wiley Rein LLP; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Investment Security & Policy, U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Peter Lichtenbaum, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP; Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration

Seminar XI: Trade and Economic Development

  • Andrea M. Ewart, Esq., Founder, DevelopTradeLaw, LLC 
  • Riva Levinson,  President & CEO, KRL International

Riva’s Presentation: WITA ITS18 Seminar 11 - Riva Levinson

Seminar XII: Trade Theory with “The Trade Guys” of CSIS

  • William Reinsch, Senior Advisor at Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP & Scholl Chair in International Business, Center for Strategic & International Studies; Former Under Secretary for Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Scott Miller, Senior Adviser, Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, Center for Strategic & International Studies

Learn More About Our Speakers

Christine Bliss became CSI President in March 2016. Prior to CSI, Ms. Bliss was the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for Services, Investment, Telecommunication, and E-Commerce, responsible for overseeing all multilateral, regional, and bilateral negotiations and policy issues in those areas for the agency. She also served as the lead U.S. negotiator in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Services Negotiations and in the WTO Bilateral Services Accession Negotiations for Russia and Saudi Arabia.Laura M. Baughman is the President of The Trade Partnership and Trade Partnership Worldwide, LLC. She directs the research activities of both firms. She testifies before various U.S. government agencies regarding the likely impacts on competitiveness of prospective or actual trade policies. Baughman prepares the economic analysis required for countervailing duty and antidumping complaints, Section 201, 301 and 332 investigations, and Generalized System of Preferences requests. She also conducts research in the field of textiles and apparel. Baughman holds degrees in economics from Georgetown (1977) and Columbia (1978) Universities.

Ms. Bliss oversaw the Services and Investment negotiations and was Co-Lead negotiator of the Financial Services negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and was a lead negotiator for Services and Financial Services in previous U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Ms. Bliss led the three-year Model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) Review that resulted in the 2012 Model BIT. She also led the development of USTR’s digital services and investment trade agenda, including innovative new disciplines on cross-border data flows and local server requirements.

Ms. Bliss has also served as Chief Counsel and Acting Assistant USTR for Monitoring and Enforcement, responsible for managing U.S. litigation in the WTO, NAFTA, and other multilateral and bilateral trade agreements.

Before joining USTR in 2000, Ms. Bliss was Counsel to the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT), an association representing U.S. Fortune 500 firms on international trade, investment, and tax issues. Prior to joining ECAT, Ms. Bliss had a wide range of experience in private practice representing foreign and domestic clients on international trade, regulatory, legislative, and policy issues as a partner in the firm of Mudge, Rose, Guthrie and Ferdon. She has also served on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant.

Ms. Bliss is admitted to the D.C. and California Bars and received her J.D. degree from the University of California at Davis and LLM from George Washington University.

Stephen Claeys is a partner in the law firm of Wiley Rein LLP.  He assists clients on a variety of international trade law and policy matters, including bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, trade remedies and safeguards, foreign market access barriers, e-commerce and digital trade, agriculture trade, and customs enforcement.

He has 25 years of experience advising members of Congress, senior White House and U.S. Department of Commerce officials, and clients on international trade law and policy, and supervising the enforcement of the U.S. trade remedies laws.  Steve obtained his law degree at Northwestern University and his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame.

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. She is also a member of the Firm’s Operating Committee.

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.


Ms. Collinson prepares countries, companies and associations for negotiations with the United States on free trade agreements, trade and investment agreements, labor disputes or other preferential programs. She is well-known for her ability to foster dialogue among a diverse set of stakeholders to resolve complex issues in trade policy making and implementation. She also works directly with U.S. multinational corporations and associations, as well as foreign companies, associations and government agencies, to clearly represent their positions in Washington. In doing so she analyzes and monitors cross-cutting trade issues, including labor, the environment, food safety, customs regulations, international development and others, and helps build strong coalitions to advocate for change.

Further, her work representing clients before Congress has earned her a well-respected position among politicians involved in international and business affairs. She is a well-known international trade authority in Washington, regularly called upon by members of Congress and the administration to help explain complex trade programs. Her decades of work with the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees and the Senate Finance; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees has established deep and lasting relations with members of Congress and their staffs.

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.


Nova Daly is an experienced international investment and trade policy professional, has held senior leadership positions at the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Commerce, the White House, and the U.S. Senate. Drawing on his experience in the management, development, and implementation of the U.S. economic and national security policies and programs, he provides both high-level insight and deep operational experience to help clients navigate the policy and regulatory environment surrounding cross-border business activities, especially through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).


Angela Ellard is the Ways & Means Committee Chief Trade Counsel and Trade Subcommittee Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives. She advises and represents Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman David Reichert (R-WA) on a variety of trade matters, including negotiation and implementation of all U.S. bilateral and regional free trade agreements since 1995, the operation of U.S. trade and customs laws, trade promotion authority, antidumping and countervailing duty issues, bilateral relationships with U.S. trading partners, preference programs for developing countries, and World Trade Organization negotiations, dispute settlement, and accessions.

Before joining the Committee staff in 1995, Ms. Ellard was in private practice, specializing in international trade litigation and policy, including antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings and appeals on behalf of petitioners and respondents, other trade remedy proceedings, and bilateral and multilateral agreements.

Ms. Ellard received her J.D. from Tulane Law School, cum laude, and she was an associate editor of the Tulane Law Review. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Newcomb College of Tulane University, summa cum laude.

Ms. Ellard frequently speaks on trade litigation and policy and lectures at universities. She has been awarded the 2013 Award for Outstanding Performance by an International Lawyer in a Government or International Organization by the American Bar Association International Law Section. She has also received the 2011 Lighthouse Award from Washington International Trade Association and Washington International Trade Foundation, the 2009 Woman of the Year award by the Organization of Women in International Trade, and the 2005 Woman of the Year award by the Trade Policy Forum.

Stacy J. Ettinger is a Partner at K&L Gates LLP and leads the firm’s trade policy practice. Stacy advises U.S. and foreign companies operating across a diverse range of sectors including manufacturing, energy (LNG, solar, wind), infrastructure, and maritime, in various geographic regions including Asia and the Arctic. She has over 25 years of experience working with U.S. and foreign businesses and foreign governments on international trade, regulatory, investment, and policy matters.

Stacy joined K&L Gates after serving as senior legal and policy advisor to Senate Democratic Leader, Charles Schumer, on trade, investment and regulatory matters, including trade investigations, customs rules, market access issues, CFIUS, international IPR, and food and product standards.

Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, Stacy served as a trade negotiator, legal and policy advisor, and litigator at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she represented the United States in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations, investigated and litigated unfair trade practices involving industrial and agricultural products, and managed complex federal rulemaking projects. Stacy also represented the United States in more than 30 appearances in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings.

Stacy has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University since 2007, where she teaches a seminar course entitled International Trade Remedies and the WTO. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the American University Washington College of Law.

Andrea M. Ewart, Esq. is the founder and CEO of DevelopTradeLaw, LLC, which provides trade capacity-building support services to developing countries to facilitate their integration into the international trading system. Andrea’s international development experience began 20-plus years ago with her work to coordinate and provide follow-on support to professionals from Eurasia (Newly Independent States of the former USSR) on USAID-funded exchange programs. The key role played by lawyers in the transformative processes in these countries inspired her to become a trade attorney, and after working with the law firm of Holland & Knight, LLP Andrea founded her company in 2003.

Her areas of expertise are the international trade issues that impact developing nations (particularly small island states), regional integration processes, and gender and trade. Through her work for such institutions as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Trade Centre (ITC), US Agency for International Development (USAID), EuropeAid, and for various governments, Andrea has advised on regional and national trade policies and on the implementation of WTO Agreements and of regional trade agreements, and drafted national legislation. She is a published author, including of a textbook, International Business: Doing Business Without Borders; a regular writer and speaker on trade and development topics, including as US State Department Speaker on the Caribbean Basin Initiative preferential programs and as commentator on trade issues for the Latin America Advisor, a daily publication of The Dialogue.

A native English speaker, Andrea is also competent in Russian and French.

Stephen Ezell is vice president, global innovation policy, at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). He focuses on science and technology policy, international competitiveness, trade, manufacturing, and services issues.

He is the coauthor of Innovating in a Service-Driven Economy: Insights, Application, and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage (Yale, 2012).

Ezell comes to ITIF from Peer Insight, an innovation research and consulting firm he cofounded in 2003 to study the practice of innovation in service industries. At Peer Insight, Ezell led the Global Service Innovation Consortium, published multiple research papers on service innovation, and researched national service innovation policies being implemented by governments worldwide.

Prior to forming Peer Insight, Ezell worked in the New Service Development group at the NASDAQ Stock Market, where he spearheaded the creation of the NASDAQ Market Intelligence Desk and the NASDAQ Corporate Services Network, services for NASDAQ-listed corporations. Previously, Ezell cofounded two successful innovation ventures, the high-tech services firm Brivo Systems and Lynx Capital, a boutique investment bank.

Ezell holds a B.S. from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, with an honors certificate from Georgetown’s Landegger International Business Diplomacy program.

Kellie Meiman Hock previously worked at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as Director for Brazil and the Southern Cone, where she had primary responsibility for trade negotiations with Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Prior to her work at USTR, Ms. Meiman served as a foreign service officer with the US Department of State, where her posts included handling crisis management in the State Operations Center.

An Economic Officer in the foreign service, Ms. Meiman previously had served in Porto Alegre, São Paulo, and Recife, Brazil, and in Bogotá, Colombia. She has lived and studied in Central America and Japan. Ms. Meiman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue.

She sits on the board of the Brazil-US Business Council and of the New York-based Brazil America Chamber of Commerce. She also is Chairwoman of the Chile-based development NGO América Solidaria US. Ms. Meiman often writes and speaks on policy matters related to trade, Brazil, and Latin America. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ms. Meiman is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese and is active in policy and politics at the national level and in the Commonwealth of Virginia, where she resides with her husband Jim and their two sons.

Ambassador Alan Larson provides clients with strategic advice, counselling and representation at the intersection of international business and public policy. A Ph.D. economist, decorated diplomat and non-lawyer, Mr. Larson advises clients on high stakes international challenges. His trouble shooting takes him to all parts of the world. His practice encompasses international investment and acquisitions; sanctions and trade compliance; international energy transactions, international aviation and international trade.

He has helped win approval of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) for some of the highest profile foreign investments in the United States, including several by state-owned companies and sovereign wealth funds.

Mr. Larson helps Covington’s management team formulate and implement its international strategy. He is Chairman of Coalition for Integrity and a Board Member of Helping Children Worldwide. He previously served in the State Department two top economic policy jobs, as Under Secretary of State for Economics and Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, as well as Ambassador to OECD. He is a Career Ambassador, the State Department’s highest honor.

Riva Levinson founded KRL International in 2006 and serves as the firm’s president and CEO. She is a sought after strategist, solving challenges for clients across the U.S. government bureaucracy and across continents.

Riva got her start in international consulting in the turbulent late 1980s, as the Soviet Union began to teeter, and proxy conflicts raged across much of Africa and Latin America. As an international operative at Washington’s first bipartisan lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly, Riva traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places at pivotal moments in history, including Angola during the tentative peace in the early 1990s; South Africa at the end of apartheid; and Iraq immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Riva has managed projects of consequence in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe. Following the consolidation of the lobbying and public relations business in the mid-1990s, Riva became Managing Director for BKSH & Associates, a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam.

Though Riva has traveled to over 50 countries throughout her career, she is most passionate about Africa. She has advised former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first democratically elected female president, since 1997; she helped secure the election victory of President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in 2016; and counselled Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi, during her period of exile.

Riva has a regular column in The Hill, and is the author of the award-winning memoir, “Choosing the Hero: My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa’s First Woman President,” chronicling the development of her career alongside her relationship with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Riva has been quoted in Forbes, Fortune, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” among others.

In addition to her work at KRL, Riva serves on the advisory council of Last Mile Health, a non-profit healthcare provider dedicated to saving lives in the world’s most remote communities, and on the board of directors of Invest Africa, a membership organization interested in stimulating investment, economic growth, employment and poverty reduction in Africa.

Riva holds a bachelor’s in economics and international affairs from Tufts University and a master’s in security studies from Georgetown University.

Peter Lichtenbaum advises clients on a broad array of international regulatory compliance and trade matters, including export controls, economic sanctions, national security reviews of foreign investments, anti-corruption laws, market access, and international trade disputes. He has specialized experience in the aerospace and defense industries.

Mr. Lichtenbaum served as Vice President for Regulatory Compliance and International Policy at BAE Systems, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of one of the world’s largest defense contractors. He was responsible for a broad array of regulatory compliance and policy issues.  He participated in BAE Systems’ development of innovative standards of internal governance in order for the company to be recognized as a global leader in ethical business conduct.

Previously, Mr. Lichtenbaum held senior positions in the Department of Commerce, one of three key agencies responsible for administering US trade controls. From October 2003 through February 2006, he served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration, responsible for developing Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) policies regarding export controls imposed for national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, and other reasons.

Mr. Lichtenbaum chaired the inter-agency Advisory Committee on Export Policy, and managed BIS’s participation in multilateral export control regimes. He represented the Department of Commerce in many sensitive matters reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Mr. Lichtenbaum served for several months as Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security and as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Mr. Lichtenbaum has also managed the development and defense of several major WTO dispute settlement cases, in which he worked closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other governments. He advised major companies regarding WTO trade policy matters. He also has significant experience handling a wide variety of countervailing duty and other subsidy matters.


Scott Miller is a senior adviser with the Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy, focusing on leadership development programs for public- and private-sector executives. From 2012 until 2017, he held the William M. Scholl Chair in International Business at CSIS. The Scholl Chair focuses on key issues in the global economy, such as international trade, investment, competitiveness, and innovation.

From 1997 to 2012, Mr. Miller was director for global trade policy at Procter & Gamble, a leading consumer products company. In that position, he was responsible for the full range of international trade, investment, and business facilitation issues for the company. He led many campaigns supporting U.S. free trade agreements and has been a contributor to U.S. trade and investment policy over many years. Mr. Miller is a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. Earlier in his career, he was a manufacturing, marketing, and government relations executive for Procter & Gamble in the United States and Canada.

Carrie Goodge O’Brien is the Counsellor (Trade Policy) at the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. In this capacity, Ms. Goodge O’Brien leads the Government of Canada’s engagement with U.S. interlocutors on a broad range of goods market access issues, including trade agreements and negotiations, government procurement, and trade remedies. Prior to joining the Embassy, Ms. Goodge O’Brien served as the Senior Counsellor to the Executive Director for Canada on the Board of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where she represented Canada’s interests on policy and management matters as well as served as a liaison to the IDB for Canadian government, business and civil society partners.

Prior to joining the IDB, Ms. Goodge O’Brien was a trade negotiator for the Government of Canada. In this capacity, she led the procurement negotiations for Canada with the European Union and at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) as well as led the trade in goods negotiations in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) discussions with Panama, Central America, Korea and Jordan. Since joining Global Affairs Canada in 2002, Ms. Goodge O’Brien has also served as a spokesperson and Trade Commissioner for arts and cultural industries.

Ms. Goodge O’Brien holds has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Trade from the University of Waterloo, a Master of Arts in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa, and also studied at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain.


Scott N. Paul is President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a partnership established in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union. Scott and AAM have worked to make American manufacturing and “Made in America” top-of-mind concerns for voters and our national leaders through effective advocacy and data-driven research.

Scott served as a member of the White House Manufacturing Jobs Initiative before resigning on August 15, 2017. He authored a chapter in the 2013 book ​ReMaking America and has written extensively about Alexander Hamilton’s role in forming U.S. national economic policy. Scott hosts the Manufacturing Report podcast.

Scott currently serves as the Board Chair of the National Skills Coalition and on the Board of Visitors of the Political Science Department at the Pennsylvania State University. He sits on the Leadership Council of the Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight.

Scott earned a B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from Penn State and an M.A. with honors in Security Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Raised in the small town of Rensselaer, Indiana, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his spouse Ilisa Halpern Paul and twin boys.


William Reinsch holds the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and is a senior adviser at Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP. Previously, he served for 15 years as president of the National Foreign Trade Council, where he led efforts in favor of open markets, in support of the Export-Import Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation, against unilateral sanctions, and in support of sound international tax policy, among many issues. From 2001 to 2016, he concurrently served as a member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching courses in globalization, trade policy, and politics.

Reinsch also served as the undersecretary of commerce for export administration during the Clinton administration. Prior to that, he spent 20 years on Capitol Hill, most of them as senior legislative assistant to the late Senator John Heinz (R-PA) and subsequently to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies respectively.

Susan Kohn Ross is a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, resident in Los Angeles, where she Chairs the Regulatory Practice Group which focuses on Customs, international trade, transportation, Food & Drug Administration, export, licensing, corporate compliance/governance and import/export issues, along with anti- corruption, government contracting and other trade compliance concerns. She is also Chair of MSK’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice Group which assists clients to implement privacy and system preventive policies and procedures, but also provides breach resolution guidance.

She is a co-founder of; main contributor to and editor of MSK’s International Trade blog; Member, American Association of Exporters and Importers’ Industry Leadership Council; Past Chair, National Security Committee, current Steering Committee Member of the American Bar Association, International Law Section’s Customs Law Committee and the Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee; and past Chair, District Export Council of Southern California.


Marideth Sandler is the Chief Executive Officer and International Trade Advisor of Sandler Trade LLC, a certified woman-owned small business.  Ms. Sandler’s work is fueled by her passion to make international trade really happen – especially with developing-country producers and U.S. artisans.  She has a unique combination of unparalleled knowledge of U.S. import preference programs and import/export overall, hands-on experience with more than 95 emerging markets, effective public speaking on an international basis, and advanced training and trainer certification in microfinance. She also brings to the firm high-level and successful advocacy experience in Congress and within the Executive Branch as well as project management and policy development expertise in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

Prior to her return to the private sector in 2010, Ms. Sandler served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in the President’s Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under both President Bush and President Obama.  As Executive Director, Ms. Sandler managed the U.S. program that provided duty-free entry for an annual average of $27.5 billion in imports, during her tenure, from two-thirds of the world’s economies.  Ms. Sandler made outreach to producers, artisans, and government an essential aspect of her work and worked to ensure that the GSP played a vital role for U.S. manufacturers and wholesalers as well as for U.S. companies seeking to export their inputs, equipment, and products abroad. Ms. Sandler is an honors graduate of Harvard University with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

She holds a second Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University.  Ms. Sandler is also a globally certified (with distinction) advisor to microfinance institutions.


Derek M. Scissors is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he focuses on the Chinese and Indian economies and on US economic relations with Asia. He is concurrently chief economist of the China Beige Book.

Dr. Scissors is the author of the China Global Investment Tracker. In late 2008, he authored a series of papers that chronicled the end of pro-market Chinese reform and predicted economic stagnation in China as a result. He has also written multiple papers on the best course for Indian economic development.

Before joining AEI, Dr. Scissors was a senior research fellow in the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation and an adjunct professor of economics at George Washington University. He has worked for London-based Intelligence Research Ltd., taught economics at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and served as an action officer in international economics and energy for the US Department of Defense.

Dr. Scissors has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and a doctorate from Stanford University.

Ambassador Rufus Yerxa became President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) in May 2016. As president, he oversees NFTC’s efforts in favor of a more open, rules-based world economy, focusing on key issues to U.S. competitiveness such as international trade and tax policy, economic sanctions, export finance and human resource management. He has more than three decades of experience as a lawyer, diplomat, U.S. trade negotiator and international official. He has been in key policymaking and management roles in Congress, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and also spent several years in private law practice and the corporate world. As Deputy Director General of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 he helped to broaden its membership and strengthen its role as the principal rules-based institution governing world trade.

Prior to this, from 1989 to 1995, he served as Deputy USTR under both a Republican and a Democratic President, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the GATT (the predecessor organization to the WTO) and subsequently as the Washington Deputy. Earlier in his government career (1981 to 1989) he was with the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade. He began his government career as a legal advisor with the U.S. International Trade Commission. After leaving government service in 1995 and prior to joining the WTO he spent five years in the private sector, first as the Brussels-based partner with a major U.S. law firm and later as European general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. Rufus is a native of Washington State. He holds a BA in political science from the University of Washington (1973), a JD from Seattle University School of Law (1976) and an LLB in international Law from the University of Cambridge in England (1977). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and is also a Visiting Professor with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS)