Senior Commercial Officer
Ellen is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and is currently the Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile. From 2008 - 2012, Ellen Lenny-Pessagno was the Senior Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Madrid. During her tenure, US green technology companies made significant inroads in the competitive Spanish renewable energy market resulting in US green technology exports thanks to the Commercial Service’s advocacy and commercial diplomacy support. US pharmaceutical companies credit Ellen and Ambassador Solomont’s strategic support as pivotal in convincing the Government of Spain to alter its proposed new method to reduce drug prices. Their actions protected US innovative pharmaceuticals from additional price cuts that would have resulted in losses of several hundred million dollars in US exports in Spain and in numerous other EU markets.
Ellen served in the Houston US Export Assistance Center from 2005-2008. Working with Commercial Service offices along the US-Mexico Border, Ellen developed programs to provide enhanced support to US companies interested in selling to the large industrial markets along this 2,000 mile border.
She began a three-year assignment at the US Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002 as the Principal Commercial Officer. Ellen was responsible for promoting US exports to seven states in the Northeastern region of Mexico, a concentrated manufacturing center that imported more than 50 billion dollars of US products and services annually.
From 1997 - 2002, Ellen served as Commercial Attaché in the US Embassy in Argentina. Ellen led the development of new customized market research products that were incorporated into Commercial Service information products globally. She received an Innovation Award for this accomplishment as well as one for the creation of ComercioUSA.org, a website for Latin American buyers. During the Argentine financial crisis, Ellen and her team’s analysis and web-based reporting on the Argentine government’s frequently changing foreign currency regulations kept US exporters informed of the possibility of repayment from their Argentine importers
Ellen earned a Masters Degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University in 1992 and a B.S. in Business Administration from Wake Forest University in 1987.