Add to Calendar 2023/03/10 8:45 AM 2023/03/13 12:30 PM America/New_York WITA Academy: Pathways To Opportunity – University of Delaware WITA Academy Webinar
Past event, WITA Academy event

WITA Academy: Pathways To Opportunity – University of Delaware

Friday, March 10, 2023 at 8:45 AM - Monday, March 13, 2023 at 12:30 PM (EST)
WITA Academy Webinar WITA Online Event

This two half-day online event is open to ALL University of Delaware students (undergraduates and graduates) to learn about careers in international trade and business. Registration is free for students and faculty with a University of Delaware email – 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, business, and trade. Students will 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.  

The WITA Academy Pathways to Opportunity with the University of Delaware is a two-part program. 

  • Part One, hosted on Friday, March 10, will focus on career opportunities in the public sector. 
  • Part Two, hosted on Monday, March 13, will highlight private sector opportunities for graduates. 

A full list of sessions and topics can be found below.

Students that attended both Part One and Part Two programs (at least 50% of the sessions for each day) will receive a free one-year membership to the Washington International Trade Association (WITA), a certificate of achievement, and access to attend WITA online policy discussions free of charge for one year.

For questions about the event, please contact the WITA Staff 

Spring 2023 Curriculum


U.S. Government Agencies and Public Sector Career Pathways 

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Session 1: 

The Executive Branch and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 

Natalie Hanson, Deputy Assistant USTR for Textiles, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Ed Gresser, Vice President and Director, Trade and Global Markets at PPI; former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economics at the Office of the United States Trade Representative

Moderator: Paul H. DeLaney, III, Partner, Kyle House Group; former Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Session 2:

The U.S. Congress

Angela Marshall Hofmann, Head of Government Affairs, JCPenny; former Legislative Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Nasim Fussell, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP; former Chief International Trade Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Moderator: Paul H. DeLaney, III, Partner, Kyle House Group; former International Trade Counsel to Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Session 3:

Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration

Naomi Freeman, Consultant, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg; former International Trade Specialist, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

Linda Martinich, Senior International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel

Thomas Newberg, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel

Moderator: Catherine DeFilippo, Director of Operations, United States International Trade Commission; former Economist, US International Trade Commission

10:30 – 11:00 AM Session 4: 

United States International Trade Commission (USITC)

Heidi Colby-Oizumi, Division Chief, Chemicals and Textiles Division, USITC

Meredith Broadbent, Senior Adviser (Non-resident), Scholl Chair in International Business, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); former Chairman, U.S. International Trade Commission

Moderator: Catherine DeFilippo, Director of Operations, United States International Trade Commission; former Economist, US International Trade Commission

11:00 – 11:30 AM Session 5: 

Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

Brenda Smith, Global Director, Government Outreach, Expeditors; former Executive Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Cynthia F. Whittenburg, Executive VP, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) National Educational Institute; former Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Moderator: Maria Luisa Boyce, Vice President, UPS Global Public Affairs; former Executive Director Office of Trade Relations/Senior Advisor for Trade Engagement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; former President, Border Trade Alliance

11:30 – 12:00 PM Session 6:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Nikole Burroughs, Deputy Chief of Staff for Management and Resources, USAID; former Staff Director, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific the Nonproliferation, United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Melanie Wyche, Pathways Program Manager, USAID

Jodi Herman, Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs, USAID; former Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

 Linda Wilson, Student Employment Team Lead, USAID

Moderator: Lisa Schroeter, Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy, Dow; former Executive Director, TransAtlantic Business Dialogue

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Skills Training: Navigating USAJobs

Elle O’Flaherty, Founder, Interlace Solutions Coaching



Private Sector Career Pathways and Opportunities in International Trade 

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Session 1: 

Government and Public Affairs

Erin Ennis, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Dell Technologies; former Assistant to the Deputy US Trade Representative, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Moderator: Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, International Trade and Government Relations, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; former Assistant Textile Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM Session 2: 

Trade Law, Policy and Compliance 

Eric Biel, Senior Advisor, Fair Labor Association; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; former Associate Deputy Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs

John Magnus, President, TRADEWINS, LLC; Adjunct Professor, American University Washington College of Law; former Equity Partner, Dewey Ballantine LLP

Moderator: Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, International Trade and Government Relations, Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; former Assistant Textile Negotiator, Office of the United States Trade Representative

10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Session 3: 

Associations and Advocacy

Julia Hughes, President, U.S. Fashion Industry Association; Senior Vice President, United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel

Blake Harden, Vice President, International Trade at Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA); former Trade Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Trade

Moderator: Jon Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Session 4: 

Supply Chain Management & Logistics

Charlotte McClure, Logistics Supervisor, Cap America; former Overseas Specialist, Cap America; former Logistics Specialist, Cap America

Jon Gold, Vice President of Supply Chain and Customs Policy, National Retail Federation

Moderator: Kenneth I. Levinson, Chief Executive Officer, Washington International Trade Association

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Session 5: 

Apparel Sourcing

Sarah Clarke, former Chief Supply Chain Officer, PVH Corp.

Patty Lopez, Head of Americas Sourcing Strategy, Gap Inc.; former Sr. Director-Global Production, Gap Inc. 

Moderator: Stephanie Lester, Vice President, Head of Government Affairs, Gap Inc.; former Professional Staff, House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Trade

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Session 6: 


Michelle Tarry, Vice President, Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability, American Eagle Outfitters; former International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), New York Representative, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Bill McRaith, former Chief Supply Chain Officer, PVH Corp.

Moderator: Nate Herman, Senior Vice President, Policy, American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA); former International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Skills Training: Applying, Interviewing, and Networking

Amanda Blunt, Counsel, Legal Affairs & Trade, General Motors; former Associate General Counsel, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Christine Davies, Founder and CEO, Poligage; former Director of Planning and Outreach, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Lisa Schroeter, Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy, Dow; former Executive Director, TransAtlantic Business Dialogue

Speaker Biographies


Eric Biel is a Senior Advisor at Fair Labor Association and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law. Eric Biel joined the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) at the U.S. Department of Labor in February 2012. He is part of ILAB’s senior leadership team, working on a diverse set of projects and activities, including supply chain issues across different sectors and submissions under the labor chapters of free trade agreements.

Before joining the Department, Professor Biel was Managing Director for Corporate Responsibility at Burson-Marsteller, a global consulting firm.From 2003-06 he was Deputy Washington Director and Senior Counsel of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights). Prior to that he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Fontheim International, a Washington consulting and law practice.

Professor Biel served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1997-2000, including Deputy Undersecretary for Trade Policy and Acting Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning. From 1995-97, he was Director of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, a bipartisan body chaired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. From 1990-95, he was International Trade Counsel at the Senate Finance Committee, following five years in private law practice.

Since 2008, Professor Biel has taught a course at the Georgetown University Law Center on “Human Rights at the Intersection of Trade and Corporate Responsibility” that explores a range of business and human rights issues. He received a B.A. in history from Johns Hopkins and joint degrees in law from Yale Law School and public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

Amanda Blunt is a Counsel of Legal Affairs & Trade at General Motors. Before joining GM in 2021, Amanda spent five years in the Executive Office of the President, focusing on international trade and investment law and policy in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office of General Counsel. She represented the United States in multilateral negotiations including at the United Nations, and negotiated trade agreements with the EU, China, Japan, and others. She also litigated trade disputes at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms. Blunt began her legal career in a large law firm’s Washington, DC office. Amanda received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. During law school she interned at the Smithsonian Institution and US Chamber of Commerce. Prior to law school she interned with a Philadelphia-based government affairs firm and the Coalition of Service Industries, a trade association in Washington, DC, while completing her degree in Political Science at the Pennsylvania State University.

Maria Luisa Boyce serves as Vice President for International Policy for UPS Global Public Affairs, bringing over 20 years of experience and leadership in international trade, customs issues and cross-border trade. In her current role, she advocates for UPS’s priorities on Capitol Hill, supports the company’s government affairs efforts in Latin America, is part of the UPS core team leading our UPS Women Exporter Program and serves as a liaison for UPS to National Hispanic Organizations.

Prior to joining UPS, Mrs. Boyce served as U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Senior Advisor to the Commissioner for Trade and Private Sector Engagement and Director for the Office of Trade Relations. Mrs. Boyce assumed this role after serving as the Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Public Affairs.

As Assistant Commissioner and Director, Mrs. Boyce advised the CBP Commissioner and senior leadership of the impact of the agency’s policies and regulations on the private sector. She was also responsible for the agency’s trade outreach strategy, and her efforts increased the compliance rate and improved communications with the private sector. Mrs. Boyce managed the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) and the User Fee Advisory Committee (UFAC), as well as the relationship between COAC and CPB’s Senior Staff.

Mrs. Boyce was also the Small Business Ombudsman and Regulatory Fairness Representative for CBP, serving as a liaison between the international trading community and senior CBP managers.

Before joining the federal government, Mrs. Boyce served as President of the Border Trade Alliance, a non-profit organization that represents 2 million stakeholders involved in border and trade issues in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. At the Border Trade Alliance, Mrs. Boyce helped develop and advocate for key border policy topics impacting the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders. Policy topics included trade, travel, infrastructure, border security and quality of life issues for border communities.

A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Mrs. Boyce is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and international relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia. She has also earned a certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for completing the Strategic Management for Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies Executive Course.

Meredith Broadbent is serving as a Senior Adviser (non-resident) with the Scholl Chair in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A former chair of the U.S. International Trade Commission, she was assistant U.S. trade representative for industry, market access, and telecommunications from 2002-2008. In that position, she was responsible for developing U.S. policy that affected trade in industrial goods, telecommunications, and e-commerce. She led the U.S. negotiating team for the Doha Round negotiations to reduce tariff and nontariff barriers on industrial goods. From 2008 to 2010, she was a trade adviser at the Global Business Dialogue. Earlier in her career, Broadbent served as a senior professional staff member with the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where she drafted and managed major portions of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, legislation to authorize normal trade relations with China, and the Trade Act of 2002, which included trade promotion authority. She was instrumental in the development and House passage of the implementing bills for the North American Free Trade Agreement and Uruguay Round Agreements.

Broadbent holds a bachelor’s of arts in history from Middlebury College and a master’s of business administration from the George Washington University School of Business and Public Management.

Nikole Burroughs is serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for Management and Resources in the Office of the Administrator at USAID. Prior to this role, Ms. Burroughs served as Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning.

Ms. Burroughs has over 20 years of experience in foreign policy, foreign aid, and national security. At USAID, she was a Senior Advisor in the Office of Budget and Resource Management, and at the State Department, a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary covering foreign assistance and operations, resources, strategic planning, and congressional relations. Most recently she served as the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She has also served as a senior foreign policy advisor on foreign affairs and national security matters on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SACFO), and was the U.S. Coordinator of the Transatlantic Policy Network, a political, economic, and security dialogue between parliamentary, business, and NGO leaders in the European Union and the U.S.

Ms. Burroughs holds Masters’ Degrees from The Fletcher School and the College of Europe, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont. She is a native Vermonter.

Sarah Clarke is Chief Supply Chain Officer for PVH Corp. She is responsible for the company’s Global Supply Chain, developing strategic supply practices that maximize the power of PVH’s brands to win with the consumer.

Sarah will oversee PVH’s Global Supply Chain function with the goal to fuel PVH’s overall growth objectives by delivering product on time and at the optimal cost and quality to our consumers around the world. Sarah is focused on streamlining Global Supply Chain’s operational model to create synergies globally and deliver with greater efficiency. She will seek to strengthen partnerships across all areas of the value chain and continue to position PVH as a leader in the industry to collaborate and drive solutions at scale.

“I am excited to embark on our next chapter of growth for the Global Supply Chain,” said Sarah. “There is tremendous momentum and support for PVH Supply to develop additional capabilities to deliver against PVH’s business priorities to achieve long-term growth. Our future success is dependent on our ability to continue operating as one global team with passion, integrity and partnership. I look forward to leveraging the power of PVH globally to further unlock our collective value.”

Since joining PVH in 2013, Sarah has played a key role driving operational excellence and building future capabilities, while also bringing PVH’s purpose to drive fashion for good to the supply chain. She has a proven track record of unlocking value through multi-year strategies and creating competitive advantages across the value chain.

Most recently, Sarah served as Executive Vice President of PVH North America Supply. Previously, she held supply leadership positions within PVH’s The Underwear Group (TUG) and Calvin Klein North America. Her accomplishments include expanding PVH’s presence in East Africa, implementing Speed & Agility capabilities and launching an Integrated Supply Model.

Prior to joining PVH, Sarah spent over a decade at Gap Inc., including time in Hong Kong leading the Old Navy sourcing and offshore IT organization. She began her career with Courtaulds Textiles in Europe.

Sarah is an advocate of driving fashion forward for good both within PVH’s supply chain and beyond. She is Vice Chair of the Executive Board of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), serves on the Board of Fashion for Good and is on the Executive Board of Rutgers Center for Business of Fashion. Sarah has made many contributions to help shape PVH’s culture of inclusivity including as Executive Sponsor of PVH’s Women’s Leadership Business Resource Group (UPWARD) in New York.

Heidi Colby-Oizumi is the Division Chief of the Chemicals and Textiles Division at the U.S. International Trade Commission with nearly 27 years of experience working on trade and competitiveness issues and providing the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch with independent factfinding reports and evidence-based analysis.

By focusing on research and writing about international trade, Heidi has been able to put both her English degree from the University of Michigan and international affairs degree from the George Washington University to good use. Heidi started at the Commission right out of graduate school as an international trade analyst covering transportation products, then switched to the textiles and apparel portfolio before becoming a supervisor. Heidi’s job at the Commission has taken her to a dozen countries and given her the opportunity to work on a wide range of interesting policy issues ranging from U.S. free trade agreements and preference programs to COVID-19 supply chains.

Nicole Bivens Collinson is President of the International Trade & Government Relations at Sandler Travis & Rosenberg, P. A. She 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 and a commentator on trade matters on MSNBC, NPR, and BBC. She is the lead professional on ST&R’s engagement as legislative counsel to the National Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA).

Ms. Collinson has over 30 years of experience in government, public affairs, and lobbying. In addition, she is a leader on the firm’s initiatives to address forced labor concerns via supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation to prevent the importation of any goods that may violate section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for goods made with forced labor.

Prior to joining ST&R 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.

Ms. Collinson holds a master’s degree in international relations from The George Washington University and a triple bachelor’s degree in political science, European studies, and French from Georgetown College. She also studied at the Université de Caen in France. She is past chair of the Women in International Trade Charitable Trust, past president of Women in International Trade, an advisory board member of America’s, treasurer and board member of the Washington International Trade Association, and a member of the Washington International Trade Association Foundation and Women in Government Relations. She serves on the board of trustees for Georgetown College and is the past executive director for the U.S. Hosiery Manufacturers Coalition, the U.S. Apparel Industry Coalition, and the U.S. Sock Distributors Coalition. She is conversant in both French and Spanish.

Christine Davies is the Founder and CEO of Poligage. Christine has built her 20-year career around the intersections of the public and private sectors, with leadership roles in the government, business, technology, and not-for-profit sectors both in the United States and internationally. Christine has served as a member of the Business Twenty (B20) Global Task Force on Employment and Education, and she was also selected as a member of Mindshare, a forum for start-up CEOs across the Washington, DC area. Christine most recently served as Vice President for Partnerships at the Asia Society, and she previously worked as a Business Development Manager within the Public Sector Services division at Microsoft. Earlier in her career, Christine served at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of State, where she worked on a variety of global economic and development issues, and as the International Trade Specialist at the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

Christine earned her MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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.

Paul H. DeLaney, III, is a Partner at Kyle House Group. Paul rejoined the firm in the summer of 2022 and brings 20 years of private sector and public service experience working on international economic, policy, political and business issues. Paul leads the firm’s international commercial policy, advocacy, counseling and dispute resolution efforts. He specializes in international trade, investment, tax, supply chain, regulatory and customs advocacy and policy development.

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 closely with other U.S. associations to align trade and international policy efforts, and he led the successful USMCA Coalition effort within BRT and with partner associations.  

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.

Erin Ennis is Senior Director for Global Public Policy at Dell, and has been since July 2019. In that position, she leads the company’s international trade, privacy, and cybersecurity policy work, as well as other issues.

Ennis joined Dell after nearly three decades in Washington. As Senior Vice President of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) from 2005 to 2019, she directed USCBC’s government affairs and advocacy work for US companies and oversaw the organization’s business advisory services. She also led a coalition of other trade associations on issues of interest to companies doing business with China. Prior to joining USCBC, Ms. Ennis worked at Kissinger McLarty Associates, an international consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former White House Chief of Staff Thomas “Mack” McLarty. At Kissinger McLarty, Ms. Ennis was responsible for implementing strategies for international business clients on trade matters, primarily in Vietnam and Japan.

Before entering the private sector, Ms. Ennis held several positions in the US Government. From 1992 to 1996, Ms. Ennis was a legislative aide to former US Senator John Breaux, working on international trade and commerce. She also worked on health care issues during the Senate’s consideration of President Bill Clinton’s health care reform proposal, an issue on which Senator Breaux actively worked to broker a compromise.

At the Office of the US Trade Representative from 1996 to 2000, Ms. Ennis first worked in Congressional Affairs on Asia issues, including annual approvals of China’s most favored nation status and the ill-fated 1997 push to renew presidential “fast track” negotiating authority. Beginning in 1998, she was assistant to Deputy US Trade Representative Richard Fisher, who led US trade negotiations and enforcement with Asia, the Americas, and on intellectual property rights.

A native of Louisiana, Ms. Ennis has a BA from Mount Holyoke College, where she currently serves as a trustee, and a Masters in International Affairs from The Catholic University of America. She is an active volunteer for the Washington National Cathedral. In 1999, Ms. Ennis completed the Marine Corps Marathon in under a quarter of a day and successfully laid to rest any lingering desire to run future races. 

Naomi Freeman is a consultant for the law firm of Sandler, Travis, and Rosenberg, P.A. She spent 31 years in the U.S. Government until May 2018; her last position was as Director for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. In that position, she coordinated meetings for the GSP Subcommittee, prepared analyses and briefing documents, met with representatives of embassies and trade associations, and addressed audiences on GSP in Brazil and Sri Lanka. Prior to her USTR position, she had served for 10 years as the Technical Advisor to the GSP Subcommittee on behalf of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), as well as implementing duty provisions and Free Trade Agreement annexes into the Harmonized Tariff Schedule in the USITC’s Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements. Earlier, she had negotiated and implemented textile quota bilateral agreements for the Office of Textiles and Apparel of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ms. Freeman also served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ed Markey. She is a member of the Washington International Trade Association and served as a Section Co-chair for the Association of Women in International Trade.

She has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.  

Nasim D. Fussell is a trade attorney in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office, where she is a member of the Public Policy & Regulation Group. Ms. Fussell has a wealth of trade legislation and negotiation experience, having served in numerous trade-related roles in the public and private sectors.

Ms. Fussell advises clients on trade legislation, negotiations and regulatory issues. She provides legal and policy counsel pertaining to forced labor, customs and trade compliance, supply chains, investment, exports, enforcement of trade agreements and market access issues, among others.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Fussell was the chief international trade counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, serving under Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). She also served as deputy chief international trade counsel under former Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Ms. Fussell worked on several significant trade negotiations, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). As the lead trade lawyer for Senate Republicans, Ms. Fussell led Senate negotiations with the administration and U.S. House of Representatives on the USMCA Implementation Act.

In addition, Ms. Fussell served as trade counsel for the House Committee on Ways and Means, where she served under Chairmen Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), and Dave Camp (D-Mich.). She worked on significant legislative achievements, including the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015, Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 and American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016.

Prior to joining government, Ms. Fussell served in a variety of trade and public policy roles in the private sector for a major automobile manufacturer, a cross-sectoral trade association and a global technology company. She started her legal career as a law clerk in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of the Chief Counsel for Import Administration.

Jonathan Gold is Vice President of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation. In this role, Gold is a primary spokesperson and is responsible for representing the retail industry before Congress and the administration on supply chain, international trade, product safety and customs-related issues impacting the retail industry. While with NRF, he has been a leading advocate of the value of trade and global value chains to the U.S. economy.

Prior to joining NRF, Gold served as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Planning for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He joined CBP in May 2006 and was responsible for providing policy guidance on issues surrounding maritime cargo security and trade-related matters. Gold also worked on implementation issues surrounding the SAFE Port Act and other issues within the agency including CBP intelligence reform, pandemic flu and trade facilitation. 

Before joining CBP, Gold spent nearly a decade with the Retail Industry Leaders Association holding several government relations positions including director and then vice president of international trade policy before being named vice president of global supply chain policy in January 2005. 

Gold currently serves on the Department of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. He has previously served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee and on the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Advisory Committee on Distribution Services.

Gold holds a bachelor’s degree in international business with a concentration in finance from American University in Washington, D.C.

Ed Gresser is Vice President and Director for Trade and Global Markets at PPI.

Ed returns to PPI after working for the think tank from 2001-2011. He most recently served as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economics at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). In this position, he led USTR’s economic research unit from 2015-2021, and chaired the 21-agency Trade Policy Staff Committee.

Ed began his career on Capitol Hill before serving USTR as Policy Advisor to USTR Charlene Barshefsky from 1998 to 2001. He then led PPI’s Trade and Global Markets Project from 2001 to 2011. After PPI, he co-founded and directed the independent think tank ProgressiveEconomy until rejoining USTR in 2015. In 2013, the Washington International Trade Association presented him with its Lighthouse Award, awarded annually to an individual or group for significant contributions to trade policy.

Ed is the author of Freedom from Want: American Liberalism and the Global Economy (2007). He has published in a variety of journals and newspapers, and his research has been cited by leading academics and international organizations including the WTO, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.

He is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia Universities and a certificate from the Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union.

Natalie Hanson is the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles. Natalie Hanson supports the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles in their duties to conduct and oversee trade negotiations related to textile and apparel products. Ms. Hanson also serves as a subject matter expert and provides input on trade policy matters related to the textile and apparel sector.

Prior to joining the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ms. Hanson worked at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in the Office of Industries with a focus on the textile and apparel industry, and served in a handful of positions for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While at CBP, Ms. Hanson was a National Import Specialist (NIS) specializing in matters of classification and marking for outerwear and garments of coated fabrics, an International Relations Specialist in the Office of International Affairs, and as an International Trade Specialist for Textile Policy, where she was responsible for providing technical support to CBP and other U.S. Government agencies on matters related to the negotiation, implementation and enforcement of U.S. rules and regulations for U.S. imports of textile and apparel products.

Before joining the U.S. Government, Ms. Hanson spent more than 15 years as a textile trade policy consultant to U.S. and international clients including companies, trade associations and governments, providing information, statistical analysis and advice regarding market conditions and U.S. Government regulation of textile and apparel products. 

Ms. Hanson holds an M.A. from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine.

Blake Harden is Vice President at the International Trade at Retail Industry Leaders Association. As Vice President for International Trade, Blake coordinates with RILA’s government affairs team to advance the retail industry’s trade policy agenda. Blake acts as a liaison between RILA members and Congress as the industry voices its support for a U.S. federal trade policy that fosters economic growth. Blake also leads RILA’s International Trade Committee and Customs Committee.

 Prior to joining RILA, Blake served for three years as Trade Counsel to the Committee on Ways and Means. Before her time on Capitol Hill, Blake served for ten years as an attorney with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Chief Counsel.

Blake holds a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. 

Jodi Herman is serving as the Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs for the Agency for International Development.

Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Herman worked as Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs for the National Endowment for Democracy and served as the Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for Ranking Member Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director for Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

Previously, Ms. Herman worked in the personal office of Senator Robert Menendez when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000 and joined his Senate office in 2010. Ms. Herman also worked in private practice at the law firm Mowry & Grimson and served as a Special Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador at the Organization of American States.

Ms. Herman holds a Juris Doctor with Honors from The George Washington University’s School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from American University’s School of International Service.

Nate Herman is Senior Vice President of Policy at American Apparel & Footwear Association. He oversees AAFA’s Policy department, managing the association’s lobbying, policy, and regulatory affairs activities. Nate leads AAFA’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, formulating and implementing CSR policy and representing AAFA and the industry on CSR issues before governments, NGOs, and other key stakeholders. In addition, Nate develops all apparel and footwear industry data and statistics as AAFA’s resident economist. Prior to joining AAFA, Nate worked for six years at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration assisting U.S. firms in entering the global market. Nate spent the last two years as the Department’s industry analyst for the footwear and travel goods industries. Nate received a Masters of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from the University of Delaware in 1992.

​​​​​Angela Marshall Hofmann is Head of Government Affairs at JCPenney. For over 20 years, Angela has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations.  

Angela currently serves as the head of Government Affairs for JCPenney, a 120-year old national retailer with operations in 49 states and Puerto Rico. In this position she overseas the company’s local, state, federal and international government relations. She additionally leads the privately-held organization’s sustainability and corporate responsibility intiatitives.

Angela began her career with the Honorable Senator Max Baucus in 1989 as a congressional liaison in the State of Montana. After receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana in 1997, she served as legislative counsel for agriculture and trade in Washington, D.C. and later as International Trade Counsel on U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

In 2002, Angela joined Walmart Stores, Inc. leading trade policy in the Washington Office. She later moved to headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas and served in a number of executive roles including as Vice President, International Corporate Affairs, at Walmart Stores, Inc. where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world. She also launched innovative public-private chain capacity building projects focused on transparency, building safety, agricultural development and women’s economic empowerment in Latin America, Asia and Africa. 

Angela is a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment and continues to be active in the Organization of Women in International Trade (“OWIT”) a voluntary, non-profit association of professionals interested in international trade. She’s been a lifelong member of WITA and also serves on the Board of Advisors for both the Arkansas and Montana World Trade Centers.

Julia K. Hughes is President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), which represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. She represents the industry in front of the U.S. government as well as international governments and stakeholders, explaining how fashion companies create high quality jobs in the United States and economic opportunities around the world.

An expert on textile and apparel trade issues, Julie has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch. She frequently speaks at international conferences including the China & Asia Textile Forum, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Harvard University’s Bangladesh Development Conference, MAGIC, Prime Source Forum, Vietnam Textile Summit, and others.

Julie served as the first President and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and is one of the founders of the WIIT Charitable Trust. She also was the first President of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT). In 1992, she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008, the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award. She also is a member of the International Women’s Forum.

She has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Stephanie Lester is a Director of Government Affairs at Gap Inc. In this capacity, she leads Gap Inc.’s trade affairs portfolio, including trade agreements, preference programs, and capacity building programs to contribute to communities in which Gap Inc. sources by utilizing trade to build sustainable apparel industries. 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 has served on the WITA Board of Directors since 2006, and currently serves as Vice President.

Patty Lopez is Head of Americas Sourcing Strategy at Gap Inc. Patty builds and executes the company’s strategy for product placement in the Americas with input from the Gap Inc brand partners and other sourcing leaders. ​

Patty leads a team that is responsible for fabric development through product execution and delivery for all branded products from the Americas region.​

​Patty has been at Gap Inc. for over 20 years in both the sourcing organization and within the Gap Brand global production team. ​

She has worked in the Americas region for 15 years. She has worked in the knits and denim categories with production in the U.S, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador,

Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Peru.​

Patty started her career as a Buyer for Burdines dept store (now Macy’s) as well as a merchant for Express and Abercrombie & Fitch prior to joining Gap Inc.

Patty holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida International University.​

John Magnus is President of TradeWins LLC, a trade law and policy consultancy in Washington DC. He has been an active trade practitioner for 32 years, serving as external counsel to domestic and foreign firms and industry coalitions in sectors such as steel, energy, forest products, chemicals, microelectronics, aerospace, textiles/apparel, footwear, tobacco, livestock, photographic materials, home appliances, insurance, beverage alcohol, telecommunications, motion pictures and cable television.

He advises and represents clients on multilateral negotiations and World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes; on regional and bilateral trade initiatives; on U.S. trade legislation and Congressional oversight activities; on market access cases involving goods and services; on foreign governments’ trade regimes and industrial policy measures; and on customs and compliance issues. He also advises foreign governments on their trade regimes and implementation of WTO rules.

Mr. Magnus has litigated numerous antidumping, countervailing duty and other import-related cases before the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission, as well as reviewing their courts and binational panels. He has also handled Section 301 market access cases before the Office of U.S. Trade Representative and helped to defend U.S. measures, and prosecute U.S. complaints, in numerous GATT/WTO dispute settlement proceedings. 

From 1990-2004, Mr. Magnus was associated with Dewey Ballantine LLP and a core member of its Washington, DC-based international trade practice group. He was an equity partner in the firm from 2000-2004.

As an Adjunct Professor at the Washington College of Law (American University), Mr. Magnus teaches a course entitled “Understanding the United States Trade Regime.”Mr. Magnus spent many years as an active volunteer and leader in the ABA Section of International Law, serving as a Council member, as Policy/Government Affairs Officer, as Chair of the International Trade Law Committee, and as ABA Delegate to numerous WTO Ministerial meetings. Other professional associations include the Global Business Dialogue, the Customs & International Trade Bar Association, the American Society of International Law; the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington International Trade Association. He speaks and publishes regularly on international economic issues.

Mr. Magnus is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the D.C. Circuit, and the U.S. Court of International Trade, as well as in the District of Columbia, and the state of California.

He holds a JD from the University of Chicago Law School (1990) and an AB, International Relations from Stanford University (1986).

Linda Martinich is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), which is part of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. At OTEXA, Ms. Martinich covers trade policy issues primarily for Europe and Asia. She also coordinates and manages trade compliance issues involving standards and technical regulations, intellectual property rights, and customs procedures. Prior to joining OTEXA, Ms. Martinich was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where she assisted in the negotiation of textile import quota agreements with several South Asian and Caribbean countries. Ms. Martinich began her career as an International Trade Analyst in the Textiles Office at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Textiles from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Textiles and Apparel Management from the University of Missouri.

Charlotte McClure, Logistics Supervisor, Cap America; former Overseas Specialist, Cap America; former Logistics Specialist, Cap America. McClure started her career with Cap America in 2011 as an overseas specialist and has worked in various positions throughout the company expanding her knowledge and skill set. She attended California State University and received a certificate in Global Trade and Transportation and currently serves as Cap America’s logistics specialist.

Bill McRaith is the former Chief Supply Chain Officer for PVH. Based at the company’s New York City headquarters, Bill oversees the Company’s global supply chain operations and is responsible for developing global production structure, process and manufacturing footprint to service the needs of all PVH retail and wholesale divisions. His group leverages corporate strengths for buying, cost management and handles all production activities to ensure timely delivery of apparel products. Before joining PVH Bill served as Senior Vice President of Global Sourcing at WalMart. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of Product Development and Supply Chain Operations with Spiegel Brands. Earlier in his career, Bill served as Executive Vice President of Manufacturing, Sourcing and Product Development for Victoria’s Secret, Chief Supply Chain Officer Intimates at Limited Brands. While operating in Asia Bill joined Warnaco as Vice President of Manufacturing in Hong Kong, and in a short time was promoted to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. Bill is a native of Scotland and attended Kirkcaldy & Glenrothes Technical College where he received his IMS certificate. He also attended the Harry Mitchell & Partners School of Management Service Method Study Certificate, CAPITB General Managers Course and the Marks & Spencer Ashridge College Production Managers Training Course. Bill was previously a member of the Board of Directors for the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) and also serves on the F.I.T. International Trade & Marketing Advisory Board. 

Bill is also an Honorary Professor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

Thomas Newberg is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), which is part of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. At OTEXA, Mr. Newberg covers trade policy issues for Africa, Asia, and Oceania. He also coordinates and manages OTEXA’s Made in USA Sourcing and Products Directory, and does comprehensive analysis of the yarn, industrial fabric, and apparel industries. Prior to joining OTEXA, Mr. Newberg interned at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service where he assisted in developing economic models of U.S.-Africa agricultural trade flows. Mr. Newberg is the son of a Foreign Service Officer and grew up in Burundi, Mozambique, Peru, and Italy.

Mr. Newberg has bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and American Studies from Christopher Newport University, and a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University.

Elle O’Flaherty is an executive coach and global conference speaker with a focus on performance and ADHD. She founded Interlace Solutions, a coaching firm helping professionals and executives to fulfill their potential.Elle came to coaching after 16 years as a federal attorney and trade negotiator. Her work has been published in national and international media outlets and her groundbreaking course teaching career coaches how to work with ADHD clients has been lauded by participants and coaching educators.

Elle holds a J.D. from the College of William & Mary and a journalism degree from James Madison University. She is a subject matter expert on international agricultural trade and World Trade Organization dispute settlement. She lives in Washington, DC with her family and the most beautiful dog in the world, Penny.

Lisa Schroeter is the Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for Dow. As part of the corporate Global Government Affairs team, Lisa’s responsibilities focus on trade policy and regulations, trade negotiations, and investment issues that foster growth in Dow’s global businesses. The role drives bilateral, regional and multilateral strategies to promote policies that secure market access and facilitates global trade across Dow’s value chains and manufacturing.

Before joining Dow, Lisa was the Executive Director of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD was a unique trade-facilitation process by which American and European CEOs worked with the U.S. Administration and the European Commission to implement practical, detailed recommendations. 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 Chair of the WIIT Trust, driving a women’s empowerment and skills sharing program with local universities and was previously the President of WIIT (Association of Women in International Trade). In addition, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); and a Board member of the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). She recently and successfully completed the Georgetown University Qiyadat Women’s Leadership program.

As a long-term DC resident, Lisa is also a Board Member of Cultural Tourism DC, celebrating the unique heritage and history of the U.S. Capital.

Brenda B. Smith is serving as the Global Director of Government Outreach at Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. She is responsible for Expeditors’ partnerships with government agencies and international organizations focused on supply chain regulation and trade facilitation.

Brenda has extensive experience in international trade and compliance and recently completed a 34-year career with the U.S. government, which included five years on Capitol Hill and responsibilities at the Department of Treasury and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

At CBP, Brenda served as the Executive Assistant Commissioner of Trade from 2014 until 2021. In this role, she led CBP’s trade mission, overseeing trade enforcement, security, and facilitation matters to enable legitimate trade, contribute to American economic prosperity, and protect against risks to public health and safety. She oversaw trade policy implementation, national compliance audits, management of trade data, and CBP’s regulatory processes for administering trade and border operations. She partnered with CBP’s IT experts to expand trade automation and analytics technologies through agile user-based processes and change management.

Brenda serves as part of Expeditors’ delegation to the World Customs Organization Private Sector Consultative Group and as a board member of the Association of Women in International Trade.

Michelle Tarry is Vice President of Responsible Sourcing & Sustainability at American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO). In this role, she oversees the social and environmental programs in AEO’s supply chain, and the company’s overall corporate sustainability goals. Michelle has worked in the areas of workers’ rights and corporate responsibility for more than 20 years, starting her career with the International Labor Organization in China. Michelle holds college and graduate degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University (NYU).

Cynthia F. Whittenburg, Executive VP, National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA) National Educational Institute; former Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Linda Wilson, HR Professional, Office of Human Capital and Talent Management, USAID

Melanie Wyche is the Pathways Programs Officer, External Outreach and Strategic Recruitment, with the Office of Human Capital and Talent Management (HCTM/XOSR) in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She serves as the Program Manager for Pathways Internships and Recent Graduates programs and third party internship partnerships with minority serving institutions. In this capacity as the subject matter expert for student programs, she also serves as the Agency’s liaison to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), advises the Agency’s bureaus, independent offices and missions on matters pertaining to student opportunities and strategic alignments in pursuit of new opportunities. Additionally she manages and participates in outreach events to support diversity employment. She began her career with USAID in 2010.

Prior to her work with USAID, Melanie worked for several financial services institutions such as Sallie Mae, Freddie Mac and Hewitt Consulting at Marriott International’s Headquarters. In these organizations she held several positions for which she was responsible for creating and implementing effective strategies to identify, source, recruit and hire talent. Her speciality areas included Finance, Legal, Information Technology and student programs. In these roles, her leadership and ability to implement effective strategies resulted in the organization’s ability to successfully fill difficult to fill positions and meet or exceed its hiring targets and goals. 

Melanie is a native New Yorker. She relocated to Washington DC because of her interest in public service. Melanie is a graduate of Georgetown University. She is also certified as a lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Kenneth Levinson is the Chief Executive Officer 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. capital for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and economic issues. WITA has over 4,700 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 started his career 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.

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.