• Panelists

    Opening Keynote: American Manufacturing And Trade

    Governor Matt Blunt

    Governor Matt Blunt is the President of the American Automotive Policy Council and the former governor of Missouri. He was elected Missouri's 54th governor in 2004, carrying 101 of the state’s 114 counties.


    As governor, he erased a $1.1 billion budget deficit, cut taxes, enacted lawsuit reform, fostered a business climate that created over 70,000 new jobs, and increased education funding by $1.2 billion.


    In 2011, Governor Blunt was appointed AAPC president by its three member companies. FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company noted his leadership as governor of one of the U.S.'s top automobile and component producing states.


    Prior to his election as governor, Governor Blunt served in the Missouri House of Representatives and as Missouri’s Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he reformed state election laws and used technology to increase customer convenience while also reducing costs.


    Governor Blunt graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in History. Upon leaving active duty in 1998, he remained in the Naval Reserve for nearly ten years and was mobilized for six months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Governor Blunt and his wife Melanie have two sons, William Branch and Brooks.

    Opening Reception: U.S.-India relations

    Puneet Roy Kundal

    Mr. Puneet Roy Kundal serves as the Minister (Commerce) in India’s mission at Washington D.C. He has been a distinguished Foreign Service officer for since 1994. In a career spanning over two decades, he has served in diverse places including Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and the United States. These wide-ranging postings have given him a unique perspective on global trade and commerce. In his current role, he oversees all the trade and commercial activity between the United States and India.

    Free trade, Natural resources, and Energy

    Moderator: Linda Dempsey

    Linda Dempsey is the vice president of international economic affairs policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). In this capacity, Ms. Dempsey leads the NAM’s efforts to improve the global competitiveness of manufacturers in the United States by advocating intellectual property protection, increased export financing and the elimination of trade barriers as well as pushing for agreements and treaties to open up new export markets to create jobs. Ms. Dempsey is noted for her experience on a wide range of international trade and investment policy issues.


    Prior to the NAM, Ms. Dempsey worked in both the private sector and on Capitol Hill as a strong and effective advocate for America’s interests in international economic policy. Most recently, Ms. Dempsey served as vice president of the Emergency Committee for American Trade where she represented Fortune 500 companies on trade, investment and international tax policy. Prior to that, she worked as trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee for several years where she advised the committee’s members on trade legislation; multilateral, regional and bilateral trade and investment issues and negotiations; and related matters on international tax, labor and the environment. She also worked as an adviser to former Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) on international trade, foreign policy and immigration. Ms. Dempsey began her career as an attorney specializing in international trade law and government procurement.


    A native of Pennsylvania, Ms. Dempsey received her B.A. in political science from the Pennsylvania State University and her law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Michael Brown

    Michael J. Brown joined Barrick Gold Corporation in 1995 and serves as Barrick’s Executive Director in the USA. Prior to joining Barrick, Michael was Vice President of the Gold Institute. He served eight years in the Reagan Administration at the U.S. Treasury and three years on the staff of the Ohio House of Representatives.


    Michael has a Bachelor of Science in business from the Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University.


    In Nevada, Michael is a board member of the Clark County Public Education Foundation, Nevada Mining Association, Nevada Taxpayers Association, Communities in Schools of Nevada, Three Square Food Bank, Opportunity Village and Nevada Ballet Theatre. He is the founder of the Nevada Corporate Giving Council, an organization dedicated to improving the practice of corporate philanthropy in Nevada.

    In Washington DC, Michael has served in various leadership capacities with the Capital Rowing Club.

    Bob Stout

    As VP & Head of Regulatory Affairs for BP America, Bob Stout leads a team of subject matter experts in Washington, Houston and Chicago representing BP and its businesses before U.S. regulatory agencies. .


    During his 25-year career with Amoco and BP, Bob has served in a variety of senior leadership roles covering litigation and legal counseling, compliance and ethics, and public and government affairs. From 2008-14, he was Associate General Counsel – Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE), with global accountability for HSSE legal advice, enforcement, and litigation involving BP’s worldwide businesses, including lead responsibility for HSSE legal matters arising out of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident.


    Before joining BP in 1992, Bob was a litigation associate and equity partner in the Chicago office of the global law firm Latham & Watkins. Bob received his J.D. in 1984 from Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as Articles & Book Review Editor for the Law Review. He received and A.B., summa cum laude, in political science from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College in 1981.

    The Honorable Erin O'Toole

    Erin O’Toole is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Durham in Ontario, Canada. He was elected to Canada’s Parliament in a by-election in 2012 and re-elected at the 2015 general election. He currently serves as the Official Opposition Critic for Foreign Affairs. Previously, he served as the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for International Trade.


    Born in Montreal, Erin was raised in Bowmanville and Port Perry, Ontario as the oldest of five children. After graduation from Bowmanville High School, he joined the Canadian Forces and enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston. There he earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and was commissioned as an Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). During his service to Canada, Erin conducted anti-submarine, maritime surveillance, search and rescue and naval support operations as a helicopter Air Navigator. While serving in Nova Scotia, Erin was promoted to the rank of Captain and has been decorated for his faithful service. Erin continues to be a member of Branch 178 of the Royal Canadian Legion and is also a member of the Rotary Club of Courtice.


    He and his family volunteer extensively with several organizations supporting Canada’s servicemen, women and their families. Upon completion of his service in the regular forces in 2000, Erin transferred to the Canadian Forces reserves and continued serving as a training officer while he earned his law degree (LL.B) at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Erin returned to Ontario to practice law in a variety of corporate settings, giving him a broad understanding of business issues. As a litigator for Stikeman Elliott, in-house counsel for one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, Proctor & Gamble, and then a private practice lawyer at Heenan Blaikie, Erin got a firsthand appreciation for issues related to manufacturing, trade and competitiveness for Canadian businesses


    Erin now lives in Bowmanville, Ontario with his wife Rebecca and their children Mollie and Jack. Inspired by the long and respected political career of his father, John O’Toole (Ontario MPP, 1995-2014), Erin felt the call to serve Canada beyond the military in the 2012 election. His family is actively involved in their community through sport, volunteerism and the arts.

    Aaron Padilla

    Dr. Aaron Padilla is Senior Advisor for International Policy at the American Petroleum Institute (API). He leads API’s work to determine and represent the oil and natural gas industry’s public policy positions on key international issues, especially trade and global economic and sustainability policy.


    In the last twelve years, he has worked in 30 countries across six continents. Prior to joining API, Aaron worked for Chevron as Senior Advisor for Global Issues & Public Policy, with responsibilities for both asset-level support for sustainability performance and representing the company globally for related policy initiatives. Dr. Padilla is a Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar, and he completed his M.Phil. and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and B.A. from Stanford University.

    Free Trade And The Internet

    Moderator: Daniel Etcovitch

    Daniel Etcovitch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology.


    Etcovitch works primarily on intellectual property and technology issues, having spent time at Mozilla and at a major U.S. law firm. Before the start of his legal career, he worked in political journalism and in public relations for technology company clients. At the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, he oversees its regular publication and led its upcoming special issue on the topic of software interface copyright and the Oracle v. Google litigation.


    Etcovitch has written extensively about copyright reform, from the perspectives of the technology and entertainment industries, about software and copyright, about cryptography and vulnerability disclosure, and about issues of technology policy more generally, including through work for the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.


    A J.D. Candidate at Harvard Law School and graduate of McGill University, he grew up in Montreal, Canada before moving to the United States.

    Damien Levie

    Damien Levie heads the Trade and Agriculture Section of the European Union Delegation in Washington, DC.


    Before coming to Washington, he was a member of the Cabinet (personal office) of EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht from 2009 to 2012. He subsequently headed the USA and Canada team of the Directorate General for Trade at the European Commission. During that period, he contributed to the pursuit of an ambitious EU trade policy agenda with the Americas, in particular the launch of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the U.S. and the EU, for which he was deputy chief negotiator. He also advised Karel De Gucht on a variety of trade policy issues including the new investment protection competence of the EU, intellectual property rights and services.


    Damien joined the European Commission in 2001, working on issues including merger control policy and REACH, the EU's basic chemical regulation. From 2005 to 2009, he served in the Cabinet of Louis Michel, EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid. During that period, he worked on economic development policy in Africa as well as European economic integration issues. He also participated in the works of the UN Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor co-chaired by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Hernando de Soto.


    Damien Levie has law degrees from KU Leuven and the University of Chicago Law School and an economics degree from UC Louvain. He was a lawyer at a major US law firm in Brussels and New York from 1994 to 2001.

    Probir Mehta

    Probir Mehta is the global lead for international trade policy at Facebook.


    Previously, he served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Innovation & IP in the Executive Office of the President, where he was responsible for developing and overseeing U.S. trade policy related to innovation and IP and served as the lead IP negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Probir previously served as Associate General Counsel at USTR, where he provided legal counsel and analysis on intellectual property, standards, labor, and trade preference programs for emerging markets. He also represented the United States in litigation before the World Trade Organization.


    Prior to his government service, Probir practiced law in Washington, DC, clerked for the Honorable Federico A. Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, was a Visiting Scholar at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata, India, and an Associate Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School.


    Probir holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, a MSc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

    Foreign Perspectives On Trade

    Moderator: Nancy McLernon

    Nancy McLernon is President & CEO of the Organization for International Investment (OFII), an association representing the unique interests of U.S. subsidiaries of global companies – or Insourcing Companies. With a strong background in economics, her advocacy efforts focus on educating legislators on the important role U.S. subsidiaries play in the American economy and policy issues that would make the U.S. a more competitive location for foreign direct investment and job creation.


    McLernon’s expertise on cross border investment trends and related legislative initiatives are often sought and cited by the media including, NBC News, CNBC, ABC News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Washington Post. In addition, she has written a variety of articles on policies impacting global business that have been published in numerous national newspapers. McLernon was recently recognized by The Hill newspaper as one of Washington’s top lobbyists among associations.


    Prior to being named as President & CEO, Ms. McLernon was OFII's Senior Vice President, where she focused on strategic communications and advocacy. In this capacity, she developed and successfully promoted key association messages to critical audiences, including the media - garnering top-tier news coverage for Insourcing Companies, which directly provide jobs to over 5 million Americans.


    Ms. McLernon holds a Masters in Economics from George Mason University, where she received a fellowship from the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a B.S. in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


    Prior to joining OFII, Ms. McLernon was Legislative Director for Trade Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy, a citizens’ advocacy group in Washington, DC.

    Ambassador David O'Sullivan

    Ambassador David O’Sullivan has a long and distinguished career that spans five decades. He has served in a number of senior official posts in the European public service. Prior to his appointment as EU Ambassador to the U.S., he was the Chief Operating Officer of the ‘European External Action Service’ and responsible for establishing this new EU diplomatic service. The Service is one of the largest diplomatic networks with 140 delegations across the globe.


    Ambassador O’Sullivan’s career includes a number of notable and senior positions within the European Commission: Head of Commission President Prodi’s Cabinet (1999-2000), Secretary General of the European Commission (2000-2005). He has extensive trade experience as Director General for Trade (2005-2010) and Chief Negotiator for the Doha Development Round. He was responsible for overseeing the launch of a number of free trade agreements and concluded the EU’s agreement with South Korea. Before joining the Commission, he started his career with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1977-1979).


    Mr. O’Sullivan graduated from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in Economics and Sociology (1975) and completed post-graduate studies at the College of Europe, Bruges (1976). While at Trinity, he was Auditor and debating Gold medalist of the College Historical Society and winner of the Irish Times debating competition. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from the Dublin Institute of Technology (2005) and was awarded a second Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater Trinity College, Dublin (2014). He has also been a visiting Professor at the European College of Parma.

    Harmonizing Financial Regulation Through Free Trade

    Moderator: Nicolas Veron

    Nicolas Véron cofounded Bruegel in Brussels in 2002-05, joined the Peterson Institute for International Economics (Washington DC) in 2009, and is currently employed on equal terms by both organizations as a Senior Fellow.


    His research is primarily about financial systems and financial services policies. He frequently briefs senior economic policy officials in Europe, the United States and Asia, and has testified at parliamentary hearings in the US Senate, European Parliament, and in several European member states,. He has been a financial policy expert for the European Commission, European Court of Auditors, European Parliament, International Monetary Fund (Independent Evaluation Office) and World Bank, as well as non-profits including the CFA Institute and Transparency International.


    He is also an independent board member of the global derivatives trade repository arm of DTCC, a financial infrastructure company that operates on a non-profit basis. A graduate of France’s Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole des Mines, his earlier experience includes senior positions in the French government and private sector in the 1990s and early 2000s. In September 2012, Bloomberg Markets included Véron in its yearly global “50 Most Influential” list, with reference to his early advocacy of European banking union.

    Frank Samolis

    As co-chair of Patton Boggs' International Trade Practice, Frank Somalis advises clients on international trade matters, including trade law, trade policy and legislation, and international trade negotiations. He is also chair of the India Practice Group and the leader of the Colombia Desk, Latin America Task Force.


    Frank handles matters before the Office of the US Trade Representative, other Executive Branch Trade agencies, the US International Trade Commission, US Court of International Trade, US Customs Service and the US Congress. Frank has represented foreign sovereigns or foreign multinationals from Asia, Europe, Central and Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, in addition to US companies seeking expanded market access in major export markets.


    He also counsels clients on the status of negotiations and bilateral/regional trade agreements in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other fora, and has represented several sovereign entities in Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the US. Frank has been active on such legislative matters as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the implementation of the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement, the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations, the North American Free Trade Agreement, extending MFN status and securing PNTR for China, Trade Promotion Authority, and enhancing Caribbean and African trade benefits.

    Robert D. Kyle

    Bob Kyle is a highly respected lawyer assisting clients with public policy and Washington-based problems. Having served in senior positions in both the White House and Congress, Bob is well positioned to help clients navigate the entire Washington landscape.


    Skilled in challenges that involve international dimensions and substantive complexity, Bob also brings 15 years of private sector experience in helping clients solve difficult problems. He is widely seen as one of the most savvy and effective attorneys helping in Washington.


    Bob brings a wealth of government experience to the table in solving his clients' interests. Prior to joining Hogan Lovells in 2001, he served in the Clinton White House, first as Special Assistant to the President for International Trade and Finance with the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, then as one of the influential "PADs" at the Office of Management and Budget, where he oversaw a US$300 billion budget covering most international functions of the government, including the Department of Defense, State, Treasury (international functions), and the intelligence agencies.


    Since joining Hogan Lovells, Bob has helped clients in a variety of areas, with special focus on those with international dimensions. These include U.S. sanctions, CFIUS, export controls, taxes, energy policy, budget issues, trade restrictions, and trade agreements policy. He manages issues involving regulatory compliance, government advocacy, outreach to foreign embassies and foreign governments, crisis management and corporate strategy.

    Douglas Midland

    Douglas Midland works in the finance division within OPIC’s Structured Finance and Insurance Department where he underwrites loans for eligible project finance deals across a range of sectors and geographies. Prior to joining the Structured Finance group, Douglas spent time working within OPIC’s Credit Policy division, assessing the credit and transaction structure for all deals originated in the Structured Finance and SME Finance departments. Prior to joining OPIC, Douglas worked at Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York, spending time in both the private banking group for high net-worth individuals and family L.P.’s, and middle markets institutional sales and trading. Douglas worked as a graduate research assistant on the Consulting Services team at the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) in between his roles at OPIC and Morgan Stanley while completing his Master’s degree.


    Douglas is a fellow and member of the Next Generation Council at SR21, a non-profit research and assessment group focused on developing a comprehensive, long-term national strategy based on America’s core values. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Mandarin Chinese and East Asian History from Georgetown University and a Master’s of Arts in International Relations and Economics from John’s Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Douglas is currently a CFA Level III candidate.

    Free Trade And Agriculture

    Moderator: Adam Farris

    Adam Farris is a legislative assistant for Sen. James Lankford and covers international trade, foreign policy, and homeland security. Adam is an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma and will graduate from the U.S. Army War College with a Masters of Strategic Studies in July 2018.

    Dale Moore

    Dale Moore is the Executive Director for Public Policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Moore joined AFBF in November 2011 as Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy and as Manager of the Agriculture and Trade Policy team. Moore brings 30 years of experience in public policy and communications to AFBF.


    In 2001, Moore was appointed by President Bush as USDA’s chief of staff and served all four individuals appointed as Secretary of Agriculture by the President: Ann M. Veneman, Mike Johanns, Chuck Conner (acting) and Ed Schafer. He also provided transition assistance to President Obama’s agricultural advisors.


    Just prior to joining AFBF, he worked for Policy Directions Inc. as a lobbyist, providing strategic planning and representation for a variety of agricultural and food industry clients. Moore has also worked for two livestock associations. He was executive director for legislative affairs of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the late 1990s, and in the early 1980s as the communication director for the Kansas Pork Producers Council. He also has worked as a writer and photographer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield.


    Moore received a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., and grew up in southwest Kansas on a livestock, hay and grain farm. He and his wife, Faith, have two grown sons and are the proud grandparents of three grandchildren.

    Lisa Schroeter

    Lisa Schroeter is the Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for The Dow Chemical Company. As part of the corporate Government Affairs & Public Policy team, Lisa has direct responsibilities for defining and managing the company’s global trade agenda as well as developing strategy on the international aspects of key corporate issues. Based in Washington, DC, Lisa’s responsibilities focus on trade policy and legislation, trade negotiations, and investment issues that foster growth in Dow’s global businesses through identification of policies facilitating market access and reducing global distribution costs.


    Before joining Dow, Lisa was the Executive Director of the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD). TABD is a unique trade-facilitation process by which American and European corporations work with the U.S. Administration and the European Commission to implement practical, detailed recommendations. Lisa was responsible for staffing the U.S. Chair CEO, working with the issue committees to develop and promote their recommendations, and facilitating business and government interaction. Ms. Schroeter joined TABD in 1999, and managed the process on behalf of the Boeing Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Technologies Corporation and Xerox.


    Lisa is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR); President-Elect of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and a Board Member of the Washington International Trade Association, US Council for International Business the US-ASEAN Business Council and Cultural Tourism, DC. She serves as the Chair of the ICCA Trade Network and Global Regulatory Cooperation task forces as well as the US Business Committee of the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN).

    Kent Bacus

    Kent Bacus serves as the Director of International Trade and Market Access and is based in Washington, DC. Kent is NCBA’s lead advocate on trade issues including NAFTA, restoring access to China, expanding access to Japan and other Pacific-Rim markets. In this position Kent works with Congress, the White House, and foreign governments to advance the U.S. beef industry’s trade priorities. Bacus previously served as the Associate Director of Legislative Affairs where he represented NCBA on tax, trade, and transportation issues. Kent joined NCBA in September 2010 after serving on several political campaigns in Texas and working for several years as the agriculture and appropriations legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole from North Carolina.


    Kent is originally from Wichita Falls, Texas, and holds a degree in history and political science from Texas Tech University.