Add to Calendar 2024/04/17 2:00 PM 2024/04/17 3:00 PM America/New_York WITA Academy: Pathways To Opportunity WITA Academy Webinar
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WITA Academy: Pathways To Opportunity

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM (EST)
WITA Academy Webinar WITA Online Event

Pathways To Opportunity Series: Careers in International Affairs, Business, and Trade

The WITA Academy Pathways to Opportunity program consists of a series of career pathways sessions hosted by trade professionals from the Washington D.C. policy community.

The curriculum, divided between the public and private sector, utilizes the expertise of our members to highlight different roles and career paths that are available in Washington D.C. and around the world.

This one hour online event is open to ALL students from the University of Denver and Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) Member Schools (undergraduates and graduate students), to learn about careers in international trade and business.

Registration is free for students and faculty – must use university email to register.

Students will gain insight from trade professionals, pose questions to policymakers, and learn about exciting career opportunities in international affairs, political science, business, and trade. Students come away with an understanding of the trade policy-making community, the role of its key players, and the opportunities for internships and careers available to them.

Spring Session Hosted by:                                                         In Partnership with: 



For students in other time zones, the event runs from: 

11:00 AM PT – 12:00 PM PT;  12:00 PM MST – 1:00 PM MST; 1:00 PM CT – 2:00 PM CT

2:00 PM ET: Welcome & Introduction

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

2:05 PM – 2:25 PM ET: Opportunities at the Department of Commerce

Monica DiMenza, Management & Program Analyst, Office of Human Capital, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Jayden Graham-White, Trade Policy Analyst, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (MPP, The George Washington University – B.S. in Political Science, Tuskegee University)

Dawn Taylor, Human Resources Specialist, Office of Global Talent Management, U.S. Department of Commerce (MBA, Columbia Southern University – B.A. in Criminology, Troy University)

Moderator: Catherine DeFilippo, Director of Operations, U.S. International Trade Commission; former Economist, U.S. International Trade Commission (MBA, University of Maryland – B.A. in Economics, Boston College)

2:25 PM – 2:40 PM ET: Opportunities at the Department of Agriculture

Julio Maldonado, Foreign Service Officer, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (Southern Methodist University)

2:40 PM – 3:00 PM ET: Opportunities in the Private Sector

Catherine Mellor, Vice President, Global Public Affairs, UPS; former Vice President, Global Health Initiative, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; former Research Officer, Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC; former Staff Assistant, U.S. House of Representatives (University of Queensland)

Kaitlin Sighinolfi, Senior Director, Government Affairs, International Paper; former Director, Tax & Trade, Siemens Corporation USA; former Legislative Director, Congressman Charles W. Boustany Jr. (B.A. in International Affairs & Political Science, University of Maine)

Moderator: Diego Añez, Executive Director, WITA Academy; Managing Director, Washington International Trade Association (B.A. in International Affairs & Spanish, The University of Georgia)

For questions about the event, please contact the WITA Staff


Catherine DeFilippo is the Director of Operations at the United States International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission). As Director, Ms. DeFilippo directs the planning and conduct of the USITC’s operational activities by overseeing the investigative and research activities of the agency’s Offices of Investigations, Unfair Import Investigations, Industries, Economics, Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements, and Analysis and Research Services. Programmatic activities of the USITC include Antidumping/Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD) and global safeguards investigations; unfair import investigations (e.g., those concerning infringement of U.S. patents and trademarks); trade and industry analysis studies requested by the President and Congress; and trade and tariff affairs issues (e.g., petitions for duty suspensions or reductions (MTBs) and maintenance of and modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule).

Ms. DeFilippo leads efforts to engage with Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative to provide trade policy support on important trade related issues. Working with other senior executives, Ms. DeFilippo formulates and executes the Commission’s budget/appropriation; prioritizes human capital needs and recruits accordingly; evaluates IT resources to leverage technology to improve processes and procedures. As the Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Performance Management and Strategic Planning Committee, she leads the Commission’s strategic planning, performance planning and the meeting of performance goals, and the Commission’s risk analysis and management. Prior to her appointment as Director of Operations, Ms. DeFilippo served in numerous other capacities at the USITC, including Director of the Office of Investigations, Division Chief of the Applied Economics Division, Senior Economist to Commissioner Deanna Okun, and as an International Economist in the Office of Economics.

Ms. DeFilippo holds a BA degree in economics from Boston College (magna cum laude) and an MBA degree with an emphasis on international business and economics from the University of Maryland.

Monica DiMenza is a Management and Program Analyst in the Human Capital Office of the Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA). She manages ITA’s Paid Intern Pathways Program and the Presidential Management Fellowship.

Jayden Graham-White is a Trade Policy Analyst at the International Trade Administration within the US Department of Commerce. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Recruitment and Outreach committee of ITA’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council as well as the Chair of the International Affairs Cluster of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Jayden is a proud graduate of Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, AL where she earned a bachelors in Political Science and George Washington University where she has just completed her masters in Public Policy with an emphasis on Global Social Policy.

Julio Maldonado joined the Foreign Agricultural Service in January 2004 working at the Office of Trade Programs (OTP). He lateraled to the Foreign Service in 2007 and his first assignment was to the Middle East from 2008-2012 where he represented U.S. agriculture as the Regional Attaché in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, and Palestine, before, during and after the “Arab Spring”. He served in Washington D.C. from 2012-14 as Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator at OTP. His second assignment was to the Agricultural Trade Office in Mexico City where from 2014-18 he worked to expand our third largest market. He is a Global Engagement Executive in the Office of the Administrator reporting directly to the Associate Administrator and working on current events with TFAA. He served as Attaché in FAS Caracas (virtual) in the Fall of 2021, helping increase U.S. exports to Venezuela and managing our four LES in-country.

With twenty years of work experience in the private sector prior to joining FAS, initially in the energy sector with HESS Oil and later in international agriculture as CEO of his own company with farming and processing operations in Guatemala, imports in Florida and exports in California. He is a two-time Cochran Fellow, one for Produce Handling and a second for Wine Merchandising, both helping him make important industry contacts and expand U.S. agricultural exports.

A native of Washington DC, he has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in Organizational Development from the University of Pennsylvania. His overseas studies include International Agribusiness in Israel and International Management in Sweden. He is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Arabic.

Catherine Mellor is the Vice President for Global Public Affairs in UPS’s Washington, DC office. In this role, Mellor is responsible for the organization’s policy development and advocacy in support of an inclusive trade agenda, with a specific focus on the company’s engagement in its Asia and healthcare business initiatives.

Prior to joining UPS in 2019, Mellor led the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Initiative on Health and the Economy which promotes the importance of workforce health to economic growth. Mellor joined the Chamber in 2006. Her previous roles were focused on Asia and included directing the Chamber’s work in support of the 12 country Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiation. She also led the organization’s international work in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and implemented anti-counterfeiting and piracy programs in Southeast Asia.

Mellor spent four years as a research officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at the Australian Embassy in Washington. During this time, she participated in the negotiation and successful conclusion of the Australia-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Mellor is an Australian citizen and graduate of the University of Queensland. She is a board member of Women in International Trade and began her career in Washington working for Congressman Darrell Issa.

Kaitlin Sighinolfi is the Senior Director of Government Relations, and International Affairs at International Paper, where she focuses on issues regarding tax and trade. She comes to International Paper most recently from Siemens Corporation where she worked as Director, Tax and Trade. Previously, she worked on Capitol Hill as Legislative Director for Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana and as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine. A native Mainer, from Brewer, ME, Kait grew up joining her elementary school class learning about pulp and paper by touring the local Eastern Fine Paper mill. Kait’s expertise and knowledge of the industry will be invaluable.

Dawn Taylor serves as a Human Resource Specialist in the Department of Commerce’s , International Trade Administration’s, Global Markets, Office of Global Talent Management’s Training and Development Branch. Dawn has proudly served Global Markets in several capacities during her four years tenure as a Human Resource Employment Specialist in its Operations Branch, A Human Capital Business Partner providing HR Coverage to Global Markets Asia Region, Global Markets Europe Region and she also provided HR coverage to Global Markets tops Officials: The
Deputy General and Deputy Director General’s offices. Her bolstering portfolio has also offered her opportunities to lead several HR Programs providing professional development and experiential opportunities to Global Markets most valued assets- Its People. The work that Dawn does touches every Global Markets employee to include Locally Engage Staff Members, Civil Servants, Senior Executives and Diplomats.

Dawn earned her MBA in Human Resource Management from Columbia Southern University. She is certified by the US Institution of Diplomacy as Certified Human Rights Consultant and is also a Certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practitioner by Cornell University. Dawn is a Mother, Wife, US Army Combat Veteran, an avid member of her Church. She is continually learning and growing in her faith. In meeting Dawn, she will always remind you that “Today Is A Gift, Give Thanks, Be Present, and Enjoy It!”

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.

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.

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