Vice President and Managing Director of Washington DC Office
Asia Society Policy Institute
Wendy Cutler joined the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) as vice president in November 2015. She also serves as the managing director of the Washington D.C. Office. In these roles, she focuses on building ASPI’s presence in Washington — strengthening its outreach as a think/do tank — and on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade and investment, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). Most recently she served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, working on a range of U.S. trade negotiations and initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. In that capacity she was responsible for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, including the bilateral negotiations with Japan. She also was the chief negotiator to the U.S.-Korea (Korus) Free Trade Agreement. Cutler received her master’s degree from Georgetown.
Professor Simon J. Evenett
Swiss Institute of International Economics and Department of Economics
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Simon J Evenett is Professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and Co-Director of the CEPR Programme in International Trade and Regional Economics. Evenett taught previously at Oxford and Rutgers University, and served twice as a World Bank official. He was a non-resident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington. He is Member of the High Level Group on Globalisation established by the French Trade Minister Christine LaGarde, Member of the Warwick Commission on the Future of the Multilateral Trading System After Doha, and was Member of the the Zedillo Committee on the Global Trade and Financial Architecture. In addition to his research into the determinants of international commercial flows, he is particularly interested in the relationships between international trade policy, national competition law and policy, and economic development. He obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.
Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri
Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States
Ambassador Mirpuri took up his appointment as Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States of America in July 2012. Prior to his current appointment, he served as Ambassador to Indonesia from 2006 to 2012, High Commissioner to Malaysia from 2002 to 2006 and High Commissioner to Australia from 2000 to 2002.
A career diplomat, Mr. Mirpuri joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1984. In 1994, he was appointed Director of MFA’s Policy Planning & Analysis Directorate I (Southeast Asia). In 1997, Mr. Mirpuri was seconded to Shell International Ltd in the United Kingdom as Corporate Advisor (Asia Pacific). He was subsequently assigned to the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta in 1998 as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission, having previously served in Jakarta as First Secretary (Political).
Mr. Mirpuri graduated with an honors degree from the National University of Singapore. He received his MA at the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies under a Raffles Scholarship. He attended the Programme for Executive Development at the Institute for Management Development, Switzerland, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, USA.
Ambassador Rufus Yerxa
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
Ambassador Rufus Yerxa became President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) in May 2016. As president, he oversees NFTC’s efforts in favor of a more open, rules-based world economy, focusing on key issues to U.S. competitiveness such as international trade and tax policy, economic sanctions and export finance. He has more than four decades of experience as a lawyer, diplomat, U.S. trade negotiator and international official. He has been in key policymaking and management roles in Congress, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and also spent several years in private law practice and the corporate world.
As Deputy Director General of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 he helped to broaden its membership and strengthen its role as the principal rules-based institution governing world trade.
Prior to this, from 1989 to 1995, he served as Deputy USTR under both a Republican and a Democratic President, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the GATT (the predecessor organization to the WTO) and subsequently as the Washington Deputy. Earlier in his government career (1981 to 1989) he was with the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade. He began his government career as a legal advisor with the U.S. International Trade Commission. After leaving government service in 1995 and prior to joining the WTO he spent five years in the private sector, including as the Brussels-based partner with the U.S. law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Rufus is a native of Washington State.
He holds a BA in political science from the University of Washington (1973), a JD from Seattle University School of Law (1976) and an LLB in international Law from the University of Cambridge in England (1977). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, and is also a Visiting Professor with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).