Arun Venkataraman nominated for key Commerce job

Arun Venkataraman
Arun Venkataraman

Indian American international trade expert directed US-India trade policy at USTR.

President Joe Biden has nominated yet another Indian American, Arun Venkataraman, to a key position in the Commerce Department looking after the Foreign Commercial Service and Global Markets.

He has been designated as Director General of the United States Foreign Commercial Service and Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, the White House announced Wednesday.

Venkataraman has over 20 years of experience in advising companies, international organizations and the US government on international trade issues.

He is currently the Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce, advising the department on trade and other international economic matters.

Before joining the Biden-Harris administration, he was a senior director at Visa, leading global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions.

Venkataraman previously served as the trade and investment policy advisor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he counseled multinational firms and other organizations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights, and US and foreign trade policies.

READ: List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)

As the first ever Director of Policy at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under President Barack Obama, Venkataraman helped shape the US government’s responses to critical challenges faced by firms in the country and in markets around the world, including China and India, the White House said.

At the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), Venkataraman led the development and implementation of the US-India trade policy as the Director for India. At this job, he received the agency’s Kelly Award for outstanding performance and extraordinary leadership.

Venkataraman also served as the associate general counsel, representing the United States in litigation before the World Trade Organisation and in negotiations on international trade agreements.

Before joining the USTR, Venkataraman was a legal officer at the WTO.

Venkataraman began his career as a law clerk for Judge Jane A Restani at the US Court of International Trade.

He did JD from the Columbia Law School and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He also holds a BA from the Tufts University.

Venkataraman joins a record 40 plus Indian Americans working in the Biden-Harris administration. Besides Vice President Kamala Harris, daughter of an Indian American mother and Jamaican American father, the team includes Indian-American physician Vivek Murthy serving his second term as ‘America’s Doctor’ and Vinay Reddy as Biden’s speech writer.

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