Executive Director, Global Innovation Forum

Executive Director, Global Innovation Forum
National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC)
Full Time
Washington, DC

The National Foreign Trade Council Foundation seeks an entrepreneurial individual to grow its Global Innovation Forum (GIF), a unique non-profit effort to connect globally-minded small businesses and innovators with government officials. This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. 

About the Global Innovation Forum

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

This individual is wholly-responsible for setting an overall strategy and executing GIF’s day-to-day educational efforts that span research, writing, organizing meetings and planning events.


You will:

  • Set GIF’s Strategic Direction: In collaboration with the NFTC Foundation Board, NFTC President and partners, refine and execute an overall strategy to advance GIF’s mission.
  • Develop Reports and Educational Materials: Conduct research, draft and lay out educational reports, and write background notes on the global opportunities and challenges that startups and small businesses face and the role of public policy in their success;
  • Organize Events: Plan and execute private meetings and public events in the United States and around the world with startup, business, university, and government stakeholders.
  • Serve as a Trusted Expert: Advocate on inclusive trade and global small business issues at private roundtables, public events, negotiating forums and industry meetings. Inform GIF’s business network of major trade and digital policy and program developments in the United States and key foreign jurisdictions and international forums.
  • Develop and Manage Relationships: Lead engagement with GIF’s corporate, government and non-profit partners and manage relationships with S. and foreign officials, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, International Trade Administration, Small Business Administration, Congress, the diplomatic corps in Washington, DC, other nonprofit organizations, and international organizations including the WTO, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and APEC on issues related to small businesses and inclusive trade.
  • Build GIF’s Brand and Lead Communications: Serve as the lead representative of GIF in the media and work with NFTC’s Director of Communications to develop a strategy for enhancing GIF’s visibility in traditional and social media; maintain and improve GIF’s website and social media presence.
  • Manage and Grow GIF’s Resources: Spearhead efforts to maintain existing funding and develop new sources of revenue, including ongoing commitments and project-specific support from existing and new corporate partners, philanthropic foundations, international organizations and government sources; in collaboration with the NFTC President and team, recruit and manage interns and consultants as appropriate.


An ideal candidate will possess:

  • 7+ years of experience working on small business, entrepreneurship and/or trade policy issues.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset and a commitment to help scale a non-profit startup at the intersection of entrepreneurship, trade and public policy.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including experience researching and writing in-depth policy briefs, public comments, testimony, and opinion pieces for publication and serving as a source for print and broadcast media.
  • A proven ability to collaborate with diverse business, government and non-profit stakeholders and effectively manage multiple projects and campaigns.
  • Experience working with startup, business and/or policy communities.
  • Familiarity with publishing and design software (e.g. Adobe InDesign/Illustrator, Canva) and WordPress.
  • Superior organizational skills and prior experience organizing and executing public events and private meetings.
  • The ability to travel for business purposes up to 25% of the time.


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 via NFTC’s online employment portal. This position will remain open until filled.