Indian American Arun Venkataraman was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service for the International Trade Administration.
In this position, Venkataraman will lead a team of over 1,400 employees strategically located in 106 offices across the United States and 78 markets abroad, supporting US companies in markets representing 95 per cent of global GDP and 97 per cent of US trade.
This includes over a thousand career professionals that specialise in export promotion, commercial diplomacy and foreign direct investment to help US companies expand into international markets and attract foreign direct investment into the United States.
Venkataraman was appointed by President Joseph R Biden and confirmed by the US Senate on April 7 to lead the federal government’s efforts to promote exports abroad and attract inward investment, an official release said.
"Arun’s expertise in trade law and commercial policy will be an invaluable asset as the Commerce Department helps US businesses and workers recover and come back stronger from the economic toll inflicted by COVID-19," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.
"His experience and leadership helping the US public and private sector navigate and overcome critical trade challenges has earned him respect both inside and out of government as well as with the team he is now assigned to lead. I look forward to working with him in his new role," the commerce secretary said.
The Indian American has over 20 years of experience advising companies, international organisations and the US government on international trade issues.
Prior to his appointment, he served as the counsellor to the secretary of commerce, advising the department on trade and other international economic matters.
Before joining the Biden administration, he was a senior director at Visa, leading a global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues, including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions.
He also served in the Obama administration as the ITA’s director of policy.
Additionally, he has had an extensive legal career, including serving as a legal officer for the World Trade Organization, Trade and Investment Policy Advisor at Steptoe and Johnson LLP.
He also served a law clerk for Judge Jane A Restani at the US Court of International Trade.
Venkataraman holds a JD from Columbia Law School, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA from Tufts University.
"In over 20 years working in the field of trade, I have seen first-hand the value that American companies and workers offer in every corner of the globe. The world turns to the US because we have the expertise, experience, and entrepreneurial spirit to provide the products, services and innovative solutions that make a difference. I thank President Biden, Secretary Raimondo, and the US Senate for entrusting me with this position," said Venkataraman in a press release.