Rebecca Armand, U.S. Commercial Service Lagos, Nigeria
Heather Byrnes, U.S. Commercial Service Accra, Ghana
Isabella Cascarano, U.S. Commercial Service Kuwait City, Kuwait
Katherine Duffy Dueholm, U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana
Robert Dunn, U.S. Commercial Service Doha, Qatar
Christopher A. Ekom, U.S. Embassy Yaounde, Cameroon
Larry Farris, U.S. Commercial Service Johannesburg, South Africa
Faiza Gamoura, U.S. Commercial Service Algiers, Algeria
Fathi Hamidan, U.S. Commercial Service Tripoli, Libya
Thomas Hastings, U.S. Embassy Luanda, Angola
Jonathan Heimer, U.S. Commercial Service Tel Aviv, Israel
Amer Kayani, U.S. Commercial Service Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Peggy Keshishian, U.S. Commercial Service Cairo, Egypt
Jane Kitson, U.S. Commercial Service Casablanca, Morocco
Brian McCleary, U.S. Commercial Service Islamabad, Pakistan
Bryan Larson, U.S. Commercial Service Baghdad, Iraq
Sanford Owens, U.S. Commercial Service Amman, Jordan
Christian Reed, U.S. Commercial Service Regional Director for Africa, the Near East, and South Asia
Judy Reinke, U.S. Commercial Service New Delhi, India
Camille Richardson, U.S. Commercial Service Nairobi, Kenya
John Simmons, U.S. Commercial Service Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
In October 2010, Ambassador Ford was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary/Deputy Director General, United States and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) in the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. He serves as the chief operating officer of the US government’s premier export promotion agency managing its domestic and overseas trade offices.
Previously, he was the Chair of the Board of Visitors to the Defense Department’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), mentor to the National Security Executive Leadership Seminar (NSELS-8) at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, and a member of the Advisory Board of the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD) Study Project on the Professionalization of the Foreign Service.
He served as Advisor on Business Engagement to the Commander of U.S. Southern Command from 2008-2009 and Ambassador to Honduras from 2005-2008. At the Commerce Department, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the USFCS, and as Director of Latin American Trade Policy in the International Trade Administration from 1990-1994. From 2003-2005, he was a Vice President of the American Foreign Service Association.
As a member of USFCS from 1982-2009, Ambassador Ford worked and lived in Latin America and Europe and is fluent in Spanish. He served as Commercial Minister at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela; Commercial Minister, U.S. Embassy in London, United Kingdom; Regional Director for Europe, United States and Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce; Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Guatemala; Commercial Consul, U.S. Consulate in Barcelona, Spain; Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before joining the Foreign Service, Ambassador Ford worked at the Inter-American Development bank and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association.
Ambassador Ford was born in Dayton, Ohio. He obtained his B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and his M.A in Latin American Studies from George Washington University. His numerous honors and awards include the Department of Commerce Silver, Gold and Bronze Medals. In May, 2008, he was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award, and received the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2009.
Ambassador Ford is married to Lillian Ford, and has two children, Monica Ann Buekens and Michael Arthur Ford.
Rebecca Armand is a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service. Her current assignment is to the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria beginning in August 2010, where she is responsible for managing U.S. Department of Commerce trade and business development programs.
Her prior assignments have included Principal Commercial Officer Brasilia, Brazil (2007-10), Senior Advisor in Washington, DC (2004-07), Senior Commercial Officer in Lima, Perú (2001-2004), Commercial Officer in Nairobi, Kenya (1999-2001) and Regional Commercial Officer in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1996-99). She also served simultaneously in the San Diego U.S. Export Assistance Center and the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico from 1994-96, and from 1993-94 in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance Office as a desk officer for Mexico and previous to that Peru and Bolivia, as well as an International Trade Analyst in the Office of Multilateral Affairs.
Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Central Florida and a BSBA in Finance from the University of Florida. Ms. Armand speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and is married to Fred Armand, a career State Department Foreign Service Officer and a talented pianist and recording artist, and they have two children, Alec and Avery.
In August 2008, Heather Byrnes began her posting as Senior Commercial Officer in Accra, Ghana. Prior to Ghana, Heather’s first assignment in the Commercial Service was as Commercial Officer at the U.S. Commercial Service in Johannesburg, South Africa.
As Senior Commercial Officer in Accra, a key focus for Heather has been to provide support to U.S. companies wishing to enter or expand in the newly emerging oil and gas sector in Ghana. Heather was a speaker at the Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition (LAGCOE) in October 2009 and brought a delegation of 40 (up from six in 2008 and 20 in 2009) to the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston in May 2010 (including ten Ghanaian government officials).Heather completed the PESA Petroleum and Gas Industry training course in Houston in July 2010.
A Rhodes Scholarship finalist, Heather received a B.A., cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1991. During her time at Georgetown University, Heather participated in the Junior Year Abroad program, spending two semesters at University College Galway, Ireland. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Public Administration at the University of Tampere, Finland in 1992-1993. A former AFS Exchange Student in Lapland, Heather speaks fluent Finnish and has a working knowledge of Russian and Zulu. Heather was born and grew up in Alaska and still considers Anchorage home.
Isabella Cascarano is a member of the U.S. Commercial Service, and has been with the U.S. Department of Commerce since 1993. She is the Senior Commercial Officer to the U.S. Embassy Kuwait. Her previous assignments include: Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Cairo, Egypt; Principal Commercial Officer in Munich, Germany; Principal Commercial Officer in Guadalajara, Mexico; and International Trade Specialist/Director at the Denver US Export Assistance Center.
Before becoming a Foreign Commercial Service Officer, Ms. Cascarano worked at US&FCS Office of Domestic Operations as Project Manager of the U.S. Rural Export Initiative, and as Italy and Benelux Desk Officer in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance division.
Ms. Cascarano has a Masters Degree in Economics and Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy and a Bachelors Degree in International Economics from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She speaks German, Spanish, Italian, and studied Arabic at FSI. She is married to USAID officer Benjamin Garrett and they have a five year old son.
Katherine Duffy Dueholm is a career Foreign Service Officer, currently serving as the Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, Botswana. Prior to joining the State Department in 1994, Ms. Dueholm worked for Hyatt Hotels before going to work on the successful NAFTA effort in the Clinton White House. She continued her work on trade issues at State, serving on detail to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office where she helped lead the negotiations for the U.S-Chile Free Trade Agreement. Previous tours have included Georgetown, Guyana, where she was the Economic and Commercial officer; Frankfurt, Germany; and the State Department Korea Desk where she worked on North Korean issues and took part in the preliminary discussions for the U.S.- Republic of Korea FTA. Mostly recently she was the Deputy Economic Counselor in Brasilia, Brazil where she had primary responsibility for energy issues. Ms. Dueholm is a graduate of Wake Forest University and earned her Master’s Degree in International Politics and Economics from George Washington University. She and her husband Mark have two children, ages 10 and 6.
Robert Dunn joined the Commercial Service (CS) Doha as Senior Commercial Officer August 2011. From July 2008 to July 2011, Bob served as Principal Commercial in the U.S. Consulate General Dubai where he covered Dubai and the Northern Emirates and managed partner post responsibilities with Oman and received a Superior Honor Award from the Department of State. From November 2005 to June 2008, Bob served in Ankara Turkey as a Commercial Officer. From February 2004-March 2005, Mr. Dunn served as the Director of the Kansas City Export Assistance Center supporting a diverse group of exporters covering 16 counties in Northwest Missouri and 48 in Northern and Southeastern Kansas.
From January 2002 to November 2003, Mr. Dunn served in the U.S. Embassy Seoul as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer (DSCO). In November 1998, Mr. Dunn began his tour in Korea as a Commercial Attaché leading the “Major Projects” team that was responsible for high profile, multi-billion dollar sectors resulting in successful advocacy campaigns including the sale of the Boeing F-15K ($4.2B) and Westinghouse’s sale of four nuclear power systems to Korea Electric Power ($4B).
Mr. Dunn served as Program Manager for International Defense Programs in the DOC/BXA from 1990-1998, coordinating interagency defense trade advocacy campaigns including the UAE Fighter Aircraft and UK/Dutch Attack Helicopter competitions. Mr. Dunn represented the DOC as a member of the USG delegation providing management and oversight on the U.S.-Japan FSX Fighter Co-Development program. In 1998, Mr. Dunn received the DOC Silver Medal Award for the “Development of a Successful Defense Trade Advocacy Program” in 1998. Prior to joining the DOC, Mr. Dunn served in the Pentagon supporting the International Defense Cooperative Programs of the USN and USAF from 1986-1989. Mr. Dunn received his BA/MA in International Relations from the University of Pittsburgh. He is married (Soo Hyun) and has a son age 5 (Benny) and a daughter age 3 (Katie).
Christopher A. Ekom joined the Embassy team in September 2004 and serves in a team of three Commercial Specialists in the Political and Economic Section. His main assignment is to promote bilateral trade between the United States and Cameroon. In this capacity, he provides information and counsel to American and Cameroonian businesspeople who want to seek to export to, import from, or invest in the other country. He also regularly provides services to American firms, including statistical, legal, and trade information and guidance on setting up operations in Cameroon. Christopher identifies and suggests solutions to trade issues, resolves trade complaints, tracks internet scams aimed at robbing American firms, and identifies trade opportunities and potential partners for American firms. He also prepares economic and commercial analyses, reports, memoranda, and other documents reflecting current trends and other Department of Commerce reports.
Christopher has led several trade delegations to the United States to expose Cameroonian business executives to the American market. Through seminars and extensive business outreach in Cameroon to fish out potential buyers of American products, he has made the American brand a choice taste for customers looking for quality/price value.
Prior to this appointment at the Embassy, Christopher worked as a Senior Administration and Finance Manager at the University of Yaounde I (1993-2004).
Christopher graduated from the University of Yaounde (1988-1993) and holds LLB and LLM Degrees in English Private Law. He also studied at the Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, Belgium (2000-2001 – Master Degree in Governance and Development).
Prominent among Christopher’s awards are the Development Cooperation Prize awarded by the Belgian Government for significant contribution to development (http://devcoprize.africamuseum.be/en/laurea01/00s6.htm), three Meritorious Honors Awards and a Franklin Award for exceptionally high level of performance in promoting U.S.-Cameroon bilateral trade and investment relations.
Mr. Farris is a member of the Senior Foreign Commercial Service currently serving as Commercial Counselor in Johannesburg, South Africa since August 2010.
Prior to his current assignment, he served as Commercial Counselor in Lagos, Nigeria from August 2007 until August 2010; Commercial Counselor the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia from August 2004 until June 2007; Commercial Consul in Cape Town, South Africa from January 2000 through June 2004; Regional Commercial Counselor in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from August 1997 to December 1999; Commercial Attaché in Belo Horizonte, Brazil from August 1995 through May 1997, Commercial Attaché in Brasilia, Brazil from June 1993 through August 1995, and in Washington, DC from 1986 to 1993 with the International Trade Administration’s Office of International Economic Policy, and from 1985 through 1986 with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Import Administration.
Mr. Farris is a resident of Florida, has an MA in Economics from the University of Florida and a BA from George Mason University.
Faiza Gamoura has worked as a Commercial Specialist of the U.S. Commercial Service in Algiers since 2001. She concentrates on:
Prior to the U.S. Commercial Service Algiers, Faiza Gamoura worked for the private sector for five years mainly as a sales manager for a multinational group in Algeria. Faiza studied Mathematics for four years at the high school and where she graduated bachelor in Mathematics. Then, she joined the University of Oran in West of Algeria where she graduated Bachelor of Arts, majored in English. In 2000, Faiza Gamoura spent two months at the University of Berlin in Germany to study the art of Advertising. Faiza Gamoura is currently preparing an MBA with the University of Paris Dauphine.
Faiza Gamoura has been awarded the ITA under Secretary’s Award in June 2003, as well as a Bronze Medal Award in November 2011. She speaks fluently Arabic, French, English and some German.
Fathi Hamidan is a Senior Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. He is a Libyan national holding a BA in English Literature from Tripoli University Class of 1995. Fathi has worked most of his career with the private sector for foreign companies including Expro Group and Lazmo, large national companies like Alwah Oil Company, and as an instructor at the Libyan academy for post graduates and Tripoli College for teaching English as a foreign language. He also has worked for the British Embassy and the Australian trade office.
Thomas Hastings has been Chief of the Political-Economic Section in the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola since 2010. He is a career Foreign Service Officer with previous overseas assignments in Côte d'Ivoire and Honduras. In Washington he has worked on the Economic Policy Staff of the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, as a special assistant to the Department's Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, and in the Western Hemisphere office of the Department of Treasury. Prior to working for the government, Thomas was a teacher in Namibia and Tanzania and worked with NGOs in South Africa and Botswana. He has a Bachelor's Degree in history from Haverford College, and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University.
Jonathan Heimer joined the United States Department of Commerce in 1998 and is currently the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Israel. His responsibilities include management of U.S. commercial programs provided through his office at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the Commercial Service office at in Jerusalem covering the West Bank.
Immediately before assuming his current responsibilities, Mr. Heimer was at the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Export Assistance Center in Long Island, New York. Prior to that, Mr. Heimer was for five years in Shanghai, China, where he was Acting Principal Commercial Officer and Director of the Consulate’s Commercial Center. Mr. Heimer was also a founding member of the Ambassador’s Task Force on Intellectual Property Rights. Mr. Heimer’s first foreign service assignment was to Taipei (1999-2002). Before joining the Department of Commerce, Mr. Heimer was a practicing attorney in Tokyo (1992-1997) and San Francisco (1991-1992) specializing in international business transactions. Prior to law school, Mr. Heimer was a manager with Mitsubishi Corporation (U.S.A.).
Mr. Heimer has won numerous awards from the Department of Commerce and the Department of State for his service to U.S. business.
Mr. Heimer attended the University of Michigan School of Law (J.D., 1990), the University of Michigan School of Business (1989-1990), the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law (1988-1989) and Union College (B.A., with honors, Political Science, 1985).
Mr. Heimer is married to Ms. Hong Wu and has two daughters.
Mr. Amer Kayani is Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs for Saudi Arabia based at the U.S. Embassy Riyadh. He also oversees commercial operations in Bahrain. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Egypt, Libya, and Lebanon. Mr. Kayani’s previous assignments include Regional Senior Commercial Officer in Turkey where he led U.S. trade policy and promotion efforts in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Cyprus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, Senior Commercial Officer in Pakistan, Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s office in Hawaii, Commercial Attaché in Israel, and in various positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Kayani is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service class of Minister Counselor. Before joining the Department of Commerce, Mr. Kayani held positions at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
He earned his B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California and Masters in Economic Development and Management from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. He speaks Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish, and Urdu.
He is the recipient of various honors and awards from both the government and the private sector including the U.S. Department of Commerce’s highest honor, Gold Medal, for distinguished achievement in the Federal Service, a Bronze Medal for Superior Federal Service, and several Meritorious Honor Awards. His persistent efforts for U.S. companies earned him the "IP Award for Excellence in International Intellectual Property Advocacy" from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA.)
Margaret Keshishian is a career diplomat with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service who has served in trade policy and promotion positions in Europe, Asia and the United States. In August 2009 she assumed the position of Regional Commercial Counselor for Egypt and Lebanon at the US Embassy in Cairo. In 2008-2009 she studied Arabic language and regional issues at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center.
From 2005 – 2008 she served as Regional Director for the Western Hemisphere in the Office of International Operations. From 2002 - 2005 she was the Commercial Counselor at the US Embassy in Jakarta. From 1996-1998, she was the Commercial Advisor at the US Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) from 1998-2001. From 1996 - 1998, she served in San Francisco as the Regional Coordinator for Trade for the Western Region, Domestic Operations of the US & Foreign Commercial Service. In 1997 she was on an extended temporary duty to the US Embassy in Beijing.
Ms. Keshishian previously served as the Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels (1992-96), and at the U.S. Embassies in Bangkok, Thailand (1990-92) and in Seoul, Korea (1987-1990). She was also been on temporary duty in Australia (1992), Malaysia (1995) and Vietnam (1995).
Ms. Keshishian worked previously in Washington, DC at the U.S. Department of Commerce (1980-1986) on trade policy analysis and negotiations related to US-Japan automotive trade, aerospace sales competition and computer products and services. On Capitol Hill she served as a Legislative Aide for Senator Joseph Biden (1979-80). From 1974-1977 she was employed by Siemens, A.G. in Munich, Germany to develop software products for commercial markets.
Ms. Keshishian has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Denver and a Masters of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She attended graduate business and economics courses at the George Washington University in Washington, DC and at the University of Southern California in Munich. She speaks French, German, Indonesian and Arabic.
Jane Kitson is the Commercial Counselor based at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca, where she manages the Commercial Service activities in Morocco as well as a U.S. State Department partner post in Tunis, Tunisia.
From 2006-08, Ms. Kitson served as Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. Her portfolio included energy, services, construction, mining, tourism, metals and chemicals. She focused on developing opportunities for U.S. companies in several rapidly emerging markets, most notably, franchising, oil and gas field services, and power generation. She drove the creation of a Visit USA Committee to promote travel and tourism to the U.S.
Ms. Kitson joined the U.S. Commercial Service in 2006, after a career in the IT private sector focused on international business development, with a strong emphasis on emerging markets. Her experience spans a broad spectrum of U.S. companies, including large public corporations (Lotus Development Corporation and The Discovery Channel), small and medium sized companies, and startups, as well a broad range of international business issues, including organizational development, marketing, distribution, sales, market access and partnering.
Ms. Kitson received her Master of International Management Degree from The American Graduate School of International Management, also known as Thunderbird (Phoenix, AZ), and her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Russian Area Studies from the American University, School of International Studies (Washington, DC). She has spent most of her career abroad, has traveled to 56 countries and has conducted business in more than 30 countries. She speaks French, Russian, German and Dutch.
Brian McCleary is Senior Commercial Officer at the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. A career Foreign Service Officer, he served as Senior Commercial Officer in Baghdad, Iraq (2009-2011), and as Regional Senior Commercial Officer in Helsinki, Finland (2006-2009), overseeing commercial programs in Norway and Estonia also. He was Director of the U.S. Commercial Liaison Office at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. (2005-2006), following an assignment as Senior Adviser for Trade Promotion at the National Association of Manufacturers (2004-2005). He served as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Rome, Italy (2000-2004), and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (1996-1999).
Mr. McCleary previously worked as a Senior Adviser on the Resources, Plans, and Policy Staff of the U.S. Secretary of State (1994-1996) and an Adviser on the Policy and Resources Staff of the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (1992-1994). He was also Deputy Director of the Office of Defense Trade Policy, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State (1991-1992); Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (1989-1991); Policy Coordination Officer in the Office of Security Assistance, Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State (1985-1989); and a U.S. Observer in Antarctica (1985). Prior to that, he worked at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in various positions.
Mr. McCleary has an M.A. degree in national security studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. degree in international affairs (economics) from George Washington University. A veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve, his foreign languages are Spanish, French, and Italian. Born in Washington, D.C., he is a resident of Virginia and is married to Tara McCleary. The McClearys have three sons, Colin, Ian, and Patrick.
Bryan Larson is a tenured Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Commercial Service. As Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, he is responsible for promoting U.S. exports, advocating for American business interests, and assisting the Iraqi Government with creating an environment conducive to international trade. Mr. Larson has regularized an array of CS services for U.S. companies interested in the Iraq market, including due diligence and matchmaking services. The newly revamped CS Iraq website is available at www.export.gov/iraq, and U.S. companies are also encouraged to join our Linkedin group, “Export Iraq – U.S. Commercial Service,” to stay informed of the significant opportunities and challenges this market holds.
During his last assignment as First Secretary for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Mr. Larson led the energy and environment industry team. He is a “founding father” of the U.S.-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP), which has been recognized by the Presidents of the United States and China as our most important vehicle for clean energy cooperation. He also served as the Department of Commerce advisor to the ECP and strategic advisor to the China Greentech Initiative, which publishes “The China Greentech Report.” The report is available for free online at www.china-greentech.com
Prior to Beijing, Mr. Larson served at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore, where he provided export assistance to companies and county governments. He has also served abroad as a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassies in Seoul, Korea and Mexico City, Mexico where he worked on a variety of challenging issues, including U.S.-Korea pharmaceutical negotiations, telecommunications liberalization, intellectual property rights protection, data privacy, technology standards, U.S. education promotion, and information technology trade promotion. While in Korea, Mr. Larson was a Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Chung-Ang University, where he taught a course on international negotiations.
Prior to joining the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Mr. Larson worked in the Department of Commerce as an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Information Technology and the Trade Information Center. Mr. Larson entered U.S. Government service in 1995 as Presidential Management Fellow.
Mr. Larson is a native of Denver, Colorado. He received an MA in International Communication from The American University in Washington, DC, in 1995 and a BA in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991.
Sanford Owens arrived in Amman, Jordan as Senior Commercial Officer in August 2010 from London, England
Prior to Amman he headed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Commercial Service Business Liaison office in the city of London from August 2006 to July 2010. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development covers 29 countries of operation from Eastern Europe to Mongolia including Kosovo.
Mr. Owens was Senior Commercial Officer (SCO) in Slovakia from August 2002 until July 2006 and served as its first full-time SCO. He also served as Regional Commercial Attaché for the Caribbean region from June 1999 to August 2001 based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He acted as Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the Caribbean Region including Haiti during this period. His first overseas post was Singapore as Commercial Attaché from 1994 to 1998 which included commercial activities in Brunei.
Domestically he served as a Specialist in the Seattle US Export Assistance Center (USEAC) from March 1989 to August 1994 and at the San Francisco USEAC in 1987-88. He helped establish California’s third Commercial Service office (USEAC) in San Diego in 1986-87.
While working in Commerce’s Office of the Secretary from 1981-84 he served as Special Assistant in the Office of External Relations at the Agency for International Development (AID) in 1982 and was Deputy Communications Director for the G-7 Summit hosted by President Reagan and held in Williamsburg, Virginia in May of 1983. Sanford Owens is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in Business Administration. He started his career with the Georgia Power Company (Southern Company) in Atlanta, Georgia in 1979.
He is married to Kellan Owens and they have two children, a daughter in college in the U.S. and a fifteen year old son living with them in Amman.
Christian Reed is Regional Director for Africa, the Near East, and South Asia with the US & Foreign Commercial Service in Washington, with responsibility for 20 countries in a highly diverse region bounded by Morocco, South Africa, India, and Afghanistan. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor.
Immediately prior to his current position, Christian served as Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, a four-year assignment that also included Partner Post responsibilities for Oman and Bahrain. From 1999 through 2003, Christian was Deputy SCO in Canada, the United States’ largest trading partner.
Christian joined the Foreign Service of the US Department of Commerce in 1991, serving five years as Deputy Director of the Frankfurt office of the US Travel and Tourism Administration, followed by three years as Senior Commercial Officer in Copenhagen. He came to the USG with ten years of professional experience, including four years teaching English at a German university and at a Saudi post-graduate institution. He also worked in the travel sector, for KD German Rhine Line and for Austrian Airlines.
Originally from Los Angeles, Christian studied at the University of Texas at Austin and at Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany. He holds a BA in German language and literature (1975), an MA in teaching English as a foreign language (1978), and an MBA (1984). He and his wife, Elizabeth Eisenman Reed, a licensed clinical social worker, have two teenage sons (!!) who make sure that life in the Reed household is never boring.
Judy Reinke assumed the position of Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs in August 2010.
In this capacity, she is the senior representative of the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for the operations of the U.S. Commercial Service in India, supervising the strategic program of seven offices dedicated to helping U.S. businesses enter the Indian market. She also oversees the Indian based operations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Market Access and Compliance Division of the International Trade Administration.
Prior to this position, Judy served as the Regional Director for Western Europe overseeing the operations of the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) at U.S. Embassies and Consulates in 14 countries in Europe, as well as the CS liaison office at the European Union. Previously, Ms. Reinke had served as the Senior Commercial Officer in Manila, Philippines (2005 to 2008) and in Bangkok, Thailand (2002-2005). She also served as Deputy Senior Commercial Officer in Jakarta, Indonesia from 1999-2002, responsible for overseeing the operations of the U.S. Commercial Center; Commercial Attaché in Bonn, Germany (1993-1998); and Commercial Officer with responsibility for export control matters in Bern, Switzerland (1990-1992). Ms. Reinke began her career at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Bureau of Export Administration (1986-1990) and in the Import Administration (1983-1986).
Ms. Reinke holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. Judy is a permanent resident of Fairfax, VA, and was raised in Provo, Utah, having moved frequently as the daughter of a U. S. Army Officer. She is married to Mr. Edwin Reinke and has a daughter, Katherine.
Camille Richardson has worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce since 1993 with assignments in Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In July 2010 she began a three-year tour of duty as the Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya where she serves as a resource for U.S. companies pursuing commercial interests in East Africa.
Camille first joined the Commerce Department in 1993 as a Presidential Management Fellow. She began her career promoting U.S. environmental technology exports to Southeast Asia through the United States-Asia Environmental Partnership. In 1998, Camille joined the Commercial Service as the Special Initiatives Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for the Commercial Service. In this capacity, she forwarded a number of organizational initiatives including the development of a U.S. Commercial Strategy for Africa.
A native of Washington, DC, Camille earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University in 1989, and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/SAIS in 1993. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
John Simmons began his current assignment as the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi in August 2011. Previously he had served as the Senior Commercial Officer in Pakistan, overseeing Commercial Service operations in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. Prior to the Pakistan assignment, John served for three years in Lima, Peru as the Senior Commercial Officer. Earlier postings included three years as a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam and another three-year tour at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.
Before joining the Embassy in Japan, he spent two years at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Long Beach, California. Preceding the California assignment, John served for two years in Washington D.C. in the Office of Japan Trade Policy, covering the high-technology sectors, and prior to that he served for five years as the Commerce Department’s Desk Officer for India and later as the Deputy Director of the Office of South Asia.
John holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.A. in International Affairs (South East Asia and International Economic Policy Studies) from the School of International Service at American University.
Languages: Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish.