Director/Senior Director, Trade and Innovation Policy

Director/Senior Director, Trade and Innovation Policy
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
Full Time
Washington, DC

The National Foreign Trade Council’s (NFTC) Director or Senior Director for Trade and Innovation Policy will lead a portfolio of trade and innovation policy priorities in support of its member companies.  This is a Full-Time, Exempt position based in Washington, DC.

About the National Foreign Trade Council

The NFTC is a recognized leader in advancing the interests of U.S. companies in international commerce. For over 100 years, we have provided our members with advice, advocacy, and access to navigate the challenges of the global economy. Today, we are a thought leader and principal interlocutor in areas ranging from international trade agreements and tax treaties to tariffs, supply chain regulations, digital trade policies and export controls. 

We offer our members high-level access to policymakers in governments and in international organizations. We conduct regular meetings, briefings, and in-depth analysis and serve as a nimble and effective forum for companies to tackle critical and complex issues together. 

We advocate for our members’ interests with the U.S. Executive Branch and Congress, and through organizations including the WTO, OECD and United Nations. We engage the media, think tanks and other interest groups on the role of international trade and tax policies in contributing to U.S. economic growth and job creation.

The NFTC maintains an affiliated, independent 501(c)(3) educational organization, the NFTC Foundation. It conducts educational efforts in support of an open, rules-based global economy, including public conferences and an annual awards event. 

The NFTC Foundation houses the Global Innovation Forum, an educational effort to engage a global network of small businesses, nonprofit leaders and government officials to explore the role of trade policies and programs in fostering resilience and inclusive growth.

GIF engages an international network of small, minority, and women-led businesses, nonprofit leaders and government officials to improve the trade and digital policy landscapes. We work at the intersection of the public and private sectors to facilitate more inclusive access to the global marketplace.

Housed under the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) Foundation, GIF helps diverse startup and small business leaders tell their global stories and explores the roles of technology and trade policies and programs in their success.

We take discussions about trade and public policy to gatherings such as SXSW and involve small business, startup, nonprofit and university perspectives in international organizations including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. We elevate the role of diverse stakeholders in the global marketplace through our online platforms, and act as a clearinghouse and community-builder to identify and involve a fresh network of innovators and entrepreneurs in public policy discussions. 

What You Will Do

Advance an advocacy agenda to promote priority trade and innovation policies including: 

  • Trade and Environment: Lead NFTC’s Trade and Environment work focused on tariff elimination, clean technology, export promotion, carbon border adjustment and other trade and tax mechanisms.
  • Trade and Health: Lead NFTC’s work program on trade and health policy, focusing on opportunities to advance a positive agenda to reflect lessons learned from COVID-19 and implement best practices to improve health outcomes.
  • Digital trade, frontier technologies and DSTs: Collaborate on NFTC efforts to engage on digital trade and frontier technology policies; identify opportunities to advance digital trade and e-commerce principles in collaboration with other NFTC staff.
  • Trade and Intellectual Property: Monitor and engage on trade and IP-related issues and advocate for a fact-based approach to inform conversations at International Organizations. 
  • Asia-Pacific relations: Coordinate NFTC’s engagement on trade policy in the Asia-Pacific, including efforts to engage with APEC and on an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
  • Trade Promotion: Lead NFTC engagement on Trade Promotion and create opportunities for members to engage with Commerce Department officials.
  • Tariff Reform Coalition: Support NFTC leadership of the Tariff Reform Coalition, a broad-based group of leading auto, retail, agro-food and manufacturing associations dedicated to working with the Administration and Congress to restore restraint in the use of tariff measures in trade policy in collaboration with other NFTC staff.

Strengthen NFTC’s relationships with key stakeholders, including by:

  • Leading NFTC’s outreach to the Washington, DC diplomatic community, creating opportunities for NFTC members to engage with Ambassadors, senior embassy officials, and foreign government officials visiting Washington. 
  • Helping to coordinate NFTC’s relationships with Congressional staff and expanding outreach and presence on the hill.
  • Maintaining relationships with key U.S. and foreign government and business stakeholders on NFTC’s priority trade and innovation policies, including the Administration and Congress, International Organizations, industry groups and coalitions and NGOs.

Work collaboratively with NFTC’s team to execute regular NFTC Trade Committee meetings and on other priority issues potentially including U.S.-EU relations, USMCA, and small business engagement in the global marketplace.

Serve as a trusted advisor, expert, and convener: 

  • Act as a trusted advisor on trade and innovation policy issues for NFTC members.  
  • Serve as an expert at private roundtables, public events, multilateral organizations, industry meetings, hearings, and in the press. 
  • Plan and execute private meetings and public-facing events with business and government stakeholders and develop written products to advance understanding of the key issues in your portfolio. 
  • Work collaboratively with the President, staff, and Board to recruit new member companies and execute other duties as assigned.

Reporting Responsibilities

This role reports to NFTC’s Vice President for Global Trade Policy. 


  • 7+ years (Director) or 10+ years (Senior Director) of experience working in or with governments and the business community on trade policy issues.
  • Experience developing, coordinating and running educational or advocacy programs and initiatives; building strong external relationships and a deep professional network;  collaborating with diverse business, government and nonprofit stakeholders; and effectively managing multiple projects and campaigns.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills demonstrating poise, tact, and diplomacy and experience tailoring written and oral communications to the target audience. demonstrating project management skills, including juggling multiple tasks, allocating and optimizing resources, managing timelines, and creating/implementing processes and procedures that create efficiencies.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills, including attention to detail, agility in managing changing priorities and getting the job done. 
  • Experience working in an entrepreneurial environment, including the ability to work collaboratively as a team but also independently, meeting and exceeding expectations, and clearly communicating results. 
  • The ability to travel, including internationally, for up to 20% of the time.
  • An advanced degree in law, international affairs, economics or other relevant postgraduate study is preferred. 

Salary and Benefits 

Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.  NFTC offers a highly competitive compensation package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance, a 401(k)-retirement program plus an annual employer contribution, generous paid time off, parental leave, use of on-premises fitness center, and the ability to participate in pre-tax transportation, dependent care and flexible spending account programs.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in the position and qualifications along with a resume and a 2-3 page writing sample on a topic related to international trade policy via NFTC’s online employment portal.