Dennis Simmons is a career Foreign Service Officer and diplomat with the U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Simmons joined the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration in 1997. Mr. Simmons is currently the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Commercial Service (CS) North Africa and Levant regional office in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. In this capacity, Mr. Simmons serves as a senior advisor to the Regional Senior Commercial Officer focusing on regional market development and outreach strategies. Mr. Simmons also manages the Energy, Renewable Energy, Financial Services, Information Communications Technology, Aerospace, and Infrastructure portfolios for CS Egypt.
Mr. Simmons became a U.S. Department of Commerce Foreign Service Officer in February 2003 and since then has assisted U.S. firms export over $162 million. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Simmons served as the Deputy Regional Senior Commercial Officer for the Caribbean at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo during the negotiation and initial implementation of the DR-Central America Free Trade Agreement. From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Simmons served as a Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Mr. Simmons managed the Aerospace, Defense, Security and Financial Services portfolios in Mexico during the creation of the Merida Initiative which offered USD 1 billion in assistance to Mexico to combat drug trafficking. From 2009-2011, Mr. Simmons assisted in implementing the National Export Initiative by working with Connecticut businesses to grow their international sales by identifying export markets and helping businesses navigate exporting challenges by devising export strategies for their U.S.-manufactured products and U.S.-based services. From 2011-2012, Mr. Simmons served as the Senior Advisor to the Senior Commercial Officer in Mexico on business development.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Mr. Simmons served as a Ukraine Desk Officer and Program Officer for the Business Development Committees in the Market Access and Compliance Unit from 1997-1999. From 1999-2000, he served as a country manager in the Newly Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe office in the U.S. Commercial Service. From 2000-2003, Mr. Simmons served as the Associate Director for West European Operations and Management in the U.S. Commercial Service. Prior to joining the U.S. government, Mr. Simmons worked for Enterprise Rent-a-Car.
The Foreign Service Selection Boards recommended Mr. Simmons for promotion in 2010 and 2005. Mr. Simmons has also received numerous performance-based awards: Recognition for Commitment to the Launch of NEI (2010); Sustained Superior Performance (2006); Sustained Superior Performance (2004); and Director General Award for Rookie of the Year (2004). In 2000, Mr. Simmons was recognized as a member of the Newly Independent States team, which received the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal Award for promoting commercial tax reform, market openings for U.S. companies, and the growth of U.S. trade and investment. In 2012, Mr. Simmons was awarded with a group ITA Quarterly Star for rapid and invaluable assistance to protect a U.S. firm’s intellectual property rights.
Mr. Simmons holds a bachelor’s degree in Russian Studies from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida and a master’s degree in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. Mr. Simmons is the son of a retired State Department Foreign Service Officer and speaks Spanish, French, and Russian. Mr. Simmons is married to Foreign Service Specialist Monica Castellanos Simmons and they have two young children and a chocolate Labrador retriever. While the Simmons Castellanos’ live and work overseas they maintain their family home in New Hampshire.