Add to Calendar 2024/04/10 5:00 PM 2024/04/10 6:00 PM America/New_York Launch of the WITA Academy’s Careers in International Trade & Law Series! In-Person and Via Zoom |
Hybrid event, Past event, WITA Academy event

Launch of the WITA Academy’s Careers in International Trade & Law Series!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EST)
In-Person and Via Zoom | Georgetown University Law Center

Click here to register to attend in-person, and here if you wish to attend virtually. Students must use university email to register.


Pathways to Opportunity Series: Careers in International Trade & Law

Spring Session

 Students will hear sessions on Careers in Law in Government and Careers in Law in the Private Sector.

This event will also be live streamed for interested students at universities not located in the DC-area. Please register using the virtual option above.



Georgetown University Law Center

McDonough Hall, Room 202 | 600 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001



4:30 PM (US/Eastern): Doors open

5:00 PM ET: Welcome & Introduction

Katrin Kuhlmann, Faculty Co-Director, Center on Inclusive Trade and Development & Professor, Georgetown Law Center; former Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School (J.D. Harvard Law School – B.A. Economics and German Studies, Creighton University)

Kenneth I. Levinson, Chief Executive Officer, Washington International Trade Association (WITA)

5:05 PM – 5:30 PM ET: Opportunities in the Public Sector

Susie Park Hodge, Assistant General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; former Associate, Dechert LLP (J.D. Harvard Law School – B.A. Yale University, Economics & International Studies)

Kelly Ann Shaw, Partner, Hogan Lovells; former Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economics and Deputy NEC Director, White House (J.D. Columbia Law – M.Sc The London School of Economics and Political Science – B.A. Economics and Political Science, University of Washington)

Moderator: Paul H. DeLaney III, Partner, Kyle House Group; former International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; former Trade and International Affairs Attorney for FedEx; former Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (J.D. Virginia School of Law – B.A. Political Science and Government, Yale University)

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM ET: Opportunities in the Private Sector

Elissa Alben, Vice President and Head, Global Innovation and Trade Policy and International Government Relations, Pfizer; former Senior Counsel for International Trade and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance; former Deputy Assistant USTR for Monitoring and Enforcement, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; former Associate, International Department, Steptoe & Johnson LLP (J.D. Columbia Law School – B.A. East Asian Studies, Harvard)

Dontai Smalls, Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs, UPS; former Legislative Assistant, UPS (J.D. Georgetown University Law Center – B.A. Political Science, Howard University)

Moderator: Timothy Keeler, Partner, Mayer Brown; former Chief of Staff to the U.S. Trade Representative; former Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for International Issues, U.S. Treasury Department; former Policy Coordinator for the Presidential Transition Team; former Professional Staff Member for International Trade, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (J.D. George Mason University School of Law – B.A. Tulane University)

Networking to follow – wine, beer, and food provided


Spring Semester Host:


Local University Outreach:



Elissa Alben is the Vice President and Head of Global Innovation and Trade Policy and International Government Relations at Pfizer. Prior to this, Alben was the Senior Counsel for International Trade and Competitiveness with the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. Before coming to the Committee, Alben spent eight years at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), where she served as Deputy Assistant USTR for Enforcement and Monitoring and Associate General Counsel. At USTR, she oversaw a wide range of enforcement matters arising from WTO and U.S. free trade agreement obligations, served as chief lawyer for the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement, and advised on issues including U.S. tariff preference programs, market access, customs, and telecommunications.  She also represented the United States before WTO panels and the WTO Appellate Body. Prior to her time at USTR, Alben worked for three years as an associate in the international trade department at Steptoe & Johnson LLP in Washington, DC.

Paul H. DeLaney, III is a Partner at Kyle House Group. Prior to rejoining KHG, Paul was Vice President for Trade and International at Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies. Paul partnered with the BRT leadership and the Trade and International CEO Committee Chair to set strategy and engage BRT CEOs on policy priorities and advocacy.

Paul worked at the Kyle House Group for over five years before joining BRT. Prior to joining KHG, Paul served as International Trade Counsel to Ranking Member Orrin G. Hatch for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance where he 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 the trade and customs agencies, and met with stakeholders and foreign governments. Paul assisted in managing the Senate floor during the consideration of seven trade bills. He also drafted a bipartisan customs modernization and reauthorization bill, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2013, with Chairman Max Baucus’ staff.

Before joining the Finance Committee, Paul worked as Senior Attorney for Trade and International Affairs at FedEx Express on trade policy and international regulatory issues before the U.S. and foreign governments, as well as with industry and trade associations. His work focused on 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. He helped open the FedEx Express Washington, DC Office of Trade and International Affairs, and he coordinated advocacy efforts with FedEx Express regional and country teams around the world.

Prior to joining FedEx Express, Paul worked at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for three years, including serving 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. Paul was the front office point of contact for the White House Staff Secretary, National Security Council, and National Economic Council staff to coordinate interagency actions.

Before joining USTR, Paul was a litigation associate at Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Washington DC. Paul attended Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law. Paul is a Washington DC native, having grown up in Northwest DC and attended the St. Albans School for Boys. He lives in Virginia, with his wife Meghan and their daughters Charlotte and Maia.

Susie Park Hodge is Assistant General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. She has represented the United States in several WTO disputes and trade negotiations and has covered economic security, non-market policies and practices, and investment issues. Prior to joining USTR, she worked on a range of international trade matters at Washington, D.C. firms. Ms. Hodge holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA in economics and international studies from Yale University. 

Timothy Keeler is a Partner and Co-Lead of Mayer Brown’s International Trade Product Team, as well as heading the firm’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) practice. He is also a member of the firm’s Public Policy, Regulatory & Government Affairs group.

Tim advises and advocates for clients on high-profile International Trade law and policy, including investigations and tariff actions by the USTR under Sec. 301 of the Trade Act of 1974; safeguard investigations and tariff remedies by the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the USTR under Sec. 201 of the Trade Act of 1974; the consistency of various legal regimes – or proposed laws – with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and other international legal obligations; international trade negotiations in the WTO, Free Trade Agreements, and other arrangements; and WTO and other trade agreement litigation.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Tim served in a variety of senior positions in the US Government for almost 12 years. He was the Chief of Staff in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) from 2006 – 2009, where he oversaw implementation of US policy, strategy and negotiations involving all aspects of international trade and investment matters.

Before working for USTR, Tim spent more than five years at the Treasury Department from 2001 – 2006. He joined the Office of Legislative Affairs in 2001 as a Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for International Issues, where he was responsible for Treasury’s legislative strategy on issues including CFIUS, foreign exchange rate policy testimony, appropriations for US funding of the World Bank, and US participation in the International Monetary Fund. He later managed the Office of Legislative Affairs from 2002 – 2006 and assisted on all policy and personnel issues in the Office.

Tim also served on the Presidential Transition Team in 2000–2001 as a policy coordinator on export control and trade remedy policy, handling the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Export Administration (now called the Bureau of Industry and Security) and the International Trade Commission (ITC). Earlier in his career (1998-2000), Tim served as a professional staff member for international trade on the US Senate Finance Committee under Chairman William V. Roth (R-DE).

Tim is a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington International Trade Association. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in both the School of Law (2010 – 2017)—co-teaching a course on US and WTO law, policy, and politics, and the School of Foreign Service (2018). 

Professor Kuhlmann is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where she is also the Faculty Co-Director of the Center on Inclusive Trade and Development. She teaches courses in law, development, and international trade, and she is the faculty director of the WTO and International Trade Law Certificate program. Professor Kuhlmann has over twenty-five years of experience in international law, development, and trade. Her work and research focus on trade and development, regional trade agreements (with a particular focus on Africa), trade and gender, inclusive agricultural trade, comparative economic law, and the interdisciplinary connections between law and development.

In 2010, Professor Kuhlmann founded the New Markets Lab (NML), of which she remains president, a non-profit law and development innovation lab focused on inclusive legal and regulatory design, field-based law and development programs, and capacity building among lawyers and non-lawyers in economic law and regulation. She is also a Senior Associate with the Global Food Security Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and she serves as a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). She is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee and WTO Gender Research Hub, and she serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Trade and Investment Law Group of the Law Schools Global League; the Forum on Trade, Environment, and the SDGs of the Graduate Institute and UN Environment Programme; the Washington International Trade Association; Listening for America; the Harvard Law and Development Society; the AI Institute for Food Systems at University of California Davis; and the Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Professor Kuhlmann was previously a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School, and she was the Yeutter Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law from 2020-21. Earlier in her career, she served as a trade negotiator at USTR and a lawyer at two international law firms, and she has held senior positions with several non-profit organizations and think tanks, including the Aspen Institute, German Marshall Fund, and an NGO focused on women’s rights. She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.

She is published widely and is a frequent speaker on the nexus between international trade, development, and law. Recent publications include: Legal and Institutional Dimension of the AfCFTA in the Context of Agricultural Development and Trade (Initiative for Free Trade Report “Cultivating Trade: The AfCFTA and Agriculture”, July 2022); Mapping Inclusive Trade and Development: A Comparative Agenda for Addressing Inequality and Vulnerability in International and National Law, (African Journal of International Economic Law, 2021); Resetting the Rules on Trade and Gender? A Comparative Assessment of Gender Approaches in Regional Trade Agreements in the Context of a Possible Gender Protocol Under the African Continental Free Trade Area (forthcoming, WTO); Handbook for Provisions and Options for Trade in Times of Crisis and Pandemic (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), September 2021); Using Regulatory Flexibility to Address Market Informality in Seed Systems: A Global Study, with Bhramar Dey (Agronomy, 2021); The African Continental Free Trade Area: Toward A New Legal Model For Trade and Development, with Akinyi Lisa Agutu, (Georgetown Journal of International Law, 2020); and Reconceptualizing Free Trade Agreements Through a Sustainable Development Lens, with Tara Francis, Indulekha Thomas, Malou Le Graet, Mushfiqur Rahman, Fabiola Madrigal, Maya Cohen, and Ata Nalbantoglu (United Nations Hackathon top contribution, 2020).

Kelly Ann Shaw is a Partner at Hogan Lovells. She brings to bear a deep knowledge of international trade, investment, economic law, and policy drawn from her extensive public service at the White House, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. Congress. Most recently, Kelly Ann served as deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs and deputy director of the National Economic Council in the Trump administration. While in the White House, Kelly Ann led the Office of International Economic Affairs for both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, responsible for coordinating and advising the president on issues related to international trade, investment, development, energy, environment, and global economics. Kelly Ann also served as the lead negotiator (“sherpa”) for the United States at the G7, G20, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forums and played an instrumental role in a wide range of legislation, negotiations, and agreements, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the China phase one agreement. Prior to the administration, Kelly Ann served as Republican trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means, where she played a key role in formulating legislation, policy, and strategy. While at USTR, she served as assistant general counsel in both Geneva, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C., where she represented the United States in more than 40 World Trade Organization disputes and in negotiations. She also served as a lead lawyer, negotiator, and adviser in other important international negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Kelly Ann is currently a partner with Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., as well as a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches a course on the history of U.S. trade policy. She is a frequent speaker and commentator and provides clients strategic advice on a range of legal, economic, and national security issues.

Dontai Smalls is Senior Vice President, Global Public Affairs at UPS. A native of South Carolina, he joined the UPS Global Public Affairs function in the Washington, DC office in October 1999. He coordinates all international issues on Capitol Hill for UPS, particularly global trade and customs modernization policy. He also coordinates UPS’ global aviation portfolio in DC. He is responsible in Washington for managing the relationships between UPS and Europe, including the embassies. Dontai also manages the relationship between UPS and the Congressional Study Groups, which provides substantive, issue-based opportunities for Members of Congress to engage with their counterparts abroad.

From 2005-2007, he served as counsel to UPS’s Air Group Legal Department in Louisville, KY. In that capacity, he focused on all brokerage/customs, flight operations, international operations and real estate/airport property issues relating to UPS Airlines, one of the largest airlines in world.

Prior to coming to UPS, Dontai completed various internships in Washington, including The White House, Department of Energy, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He is Chairman of the Board of Directors at the United Planning Organization, the City’s largest anti-poverty nonprofit organization and also serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, the Express Association of America (Vice President), the South Carolina Business Council in Washington, and the International Aviation Club (Treasurer).

Dontai received his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center and his Bachelor of Arts cum laude in political science from Howard University.

He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC with their two children.


For questions about the event, please contact the WITA Staff

To become a Law Partner sponsor or to learn more about other sponsorship opportunities, please click here or email Diego Añez

About The International Trade & Law Series

The WITA Academy has launched a new Pathways to Opportunity Program on Careers in International Trade & Law. Law students and undergraduates will hear from law firms and trade professionals about career opportunities in international trade and law.

WITA Academy Pathways programs seek to bring the best and brightest, next generation workforce into the trade policy community – diversifying its network of professionals with new talent that may not have previously sought careers in international trade. 

This new initiative features both virtual and in-person events in Washington, DC, with sessions on public and private sector career pathways. The series is geared towards pre-law and law students. The Spring session was held in-person at Georgetown Law on April 10, and the Fall session will be held in-person at Howard Law in September. Virtual events will be announced in the weeks to come.

All programs are free to attend for interested students.

The mission of the WITA Academy™ is to make trade education and career opportunities in international trade accessible to communities in the United States and around the world, and to make the trade community itself more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

The WITA Academy works with trade leaders in businesses, law, academia, NGOs, embassies and the U.S. Government to help stakeholders, students, and others to better understand and navigate the U.S. and global trade policy apparatus.

Thank you to our WITA Academy Sponsors

Law Partner Sponsor