WITA Academy

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Fostering a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Trade Community

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™ is a program of the Washington International Trade Foundation. Through the work of the WITA Academy, the Foundation will expand what the term “inclusive” means to WITA and the trade community at large. Having diverse points of view on trade means one thing but having a diverse and inclusive trade community means another.

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Pillars of the WITA Academy

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Pathways to Opportunity

The WITA Academy seeks to expand diversity, equity and inclusion in international trade by educating students and others about careers in international trade.

The WITA Academy, through our vast network of trade professionals in the United States and around the world, will highlight different pathways to a future job in international trade. Working directly with universities and local communities, the WITA Academy will help empower individuals to overcome obstacles that might otherwise keep them from accessing career opportunities in international trade. 

The work of the WITA Academy will foster a sustainable pipeline for the international trade community to bring the best and brightest, next generation workforce into the trade policy community – diversifying its network of professionals with new talent that may not have previously sought careers in international trade. 

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Trade Education, Capacity Building & Workforce Development

For more than a decade, WITA’s Intensive Trade Seminar (ITS) has educated government officials, the private sector and the public to better navigate the Washington and international trade policy landscape.

Building on this successful model, the WITA Academy will expand the ITS around the world. These International Intensive Trade Seminars will build capacity in trade policy for government officials, the private sector and the public to better navigate the Washington and international trade policy landscape.

The curriculum for the International ITS can be tailored to address the needs and priorities of individuals, governments, and firms from around the world. In the U.S., the Intensive Trade Seminar series will expand to Capitol Hill to better educate the Congressional staff on current trade issues. We can also bring the ITS to communities across the United States to help foster increased participation in international trade.

INITIATIVES OF THE WITA ACADEMY

Pathways to Opportunity

The WITA Academy’s Pathways to Opportunity™ program will increase diversity and inclusion in the trade community by partnering with universities to educate students on jobs and career opportunities in international trade.

The WITA Academy partners with colleges and universities to host programs for students interested in a career in international trade. The Academy hopes to expand the Pathways to Opportunity program to more underrepresented communities around the United States. The Pathways to Opportunity program also undertakes sector-specific sessions to highlight trade-related career opportunities in fields such as agriculture, technology, textiles and apparel, and international finance, among other sectors.

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Intensive Trade Seminar (ITS)

Since 2008, WITA has hosted its signature Intensive Trade Seminar™ in conjunction with the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

The four-part Intensive Trade Seminar (ITS) teaches how trade policy is made in Washington, DC. Participants typically include those in business, law, academia, NGOs, embassies and the U.S. Government. The ITS curriculum helps attendees broaden their understanding of trade policy making. The ITS is geared toward individuals seeking a career in trade policy; to people new to the field of trade policy, and those in the business of international trade.

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WITA’s International Intensive Trade Seminars

Building off WITA’s successful Intensive Trade Seminar model, the WITA Academy creates bespoke International Intensive Trade Seminars in partnership with Embassies and Ministries around the world. These sessions can provide short and intensive training sessions on increasingly complex international trade, tax and investment rules and negotiations.

The International ITS can be conducted virtually or in-person, drawing on WITA’s vast global network of trade professionals to teach the sessions. Previous international programming has been focused on Central America and Africa. Future programs include Europe, APEC, and the WTO. 

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Trade on the Hill

In partnership with Young Trade Professionals™, the WITA Academy relaunched its “Trade on the Hill” series. These briefings for Congressional staff provide updates on trade issues facing their constituencies and the country. Sessions feature experts who can teach Congressional staff about issues such as Trade Promotion Authority, Tariff Policy, Trade Law, Free Trade Agreements & Negotiations, etc.

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WITA Internship Program

Over the past 10 years, WITA has hosted over 300 students and recent grads as part of the WITA Internship Program. WITA interns learn about the global trade community, the Washington political environment, and the substance of international trade. They also learn valuable office skills, and about event management, professional networking, and careers in international trade. With support, the Academy will be able to make this Washington experience more accessible to applicants from diverse backgrounds.

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WITA Fellowship

The Foundation will fund a one-year paid Fellowship within WITA to build skills and develop management experience. The WITA Fellow will help guide and lead the work of WITA interns, with the guidance of the WITA leadership. Fellows will also have the opportunity to serve in a leadership role with WITA’s Young Trade Professionals affiliate.

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Professional Training

The WITA Academy is proud to partner with Content Enablers, a global leader in online trade compliance training, to offer best-in-class trade compliance training in the areas of export controls, sanctions, import controls, security, and anti-corruption. Courses are available on-demand and include a certificate of completion from respected academic institutions such as the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and the UK’s Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT). Courses include a full year of course access and regulatory updates as well as included Compliance Continued elements such as webinar series, training vignettes, case studies, and more.

Trade Policy Deep Dives

The WITA Academy is proud to partner with Policyware, which provides short courses (called Deep Dives) into cutting edge public policy issues affecting international trade and investment. Each Deep Dive is taught by experts from top universities and think tanks, including from the Brookings Institution, Yale University, Berkeley Law School and University College London, to name a few. Examples of Policyware Deep Dives include Governing Digital Trade and Global Data Flows, Developments in International Investment Policy, Labor Standards and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains, China Digital Governance, Development in Global Privacy Law and Policy, and Climate Change and its Implications for International Trade. Students who enroll in Policyware Deep Dives are typically public policy professionals. Previous students have come from industry, from Ministries of foreign affairs, international trade, and USAID, as well as from international organizations such as the World Bank and from civil society and large philanthropies. Click here to get more information.

About WITA and WITF

The Washington International Trade Association (WITA) is a 501c6 Membership Association (EIN# is 52-1462468). WITA is proud to have the support of its corporate sponsors and WITA’s sister organization, the Washington International Trade Foundation (WITF), a 501c3 Educational Organization dedicated to supporting WITA’s mission of educating the trade community and the general public on trade and related issues. WITF is a separate entity with its own EIN # 52-1907420.

Sponsorship information can be found here: WITA Sponsorship Opportunities – WITA

We are happy to work with sponsors to create special funding packages that combine support for the WITA Academy with sponsorships of the WITA/WITF Annual Dinner and Washington International Trade Conference. 

For more information about Funding the WITA Academy, please contact Diego Añez at danez@wita.org

Thank you to our WITA Academy Sponsors

 

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