Past event, WITA event

Trade Counsels on the Role of Congress in Formulating U.S. Trade Policy

04/18/2018|Bruce Aitken
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20004

Featuring

Grant Aldonas, Institute of International Economic Law

Brian Pomper, Akin Gump

Viji Rangaswami, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Neena Shenai, Medtronic

Moderator: Paul H. DeLaney, III, Kyle House Group

Grant Aldonas is the principal managing director of Split Rock International, Inc., a consulting firm he founded in 2006 and executive director of the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Grant was formerly Under Secretary of Commerce (2001-2005), Chief Majority International Trade Counsel to the Senate Finance Committee (1997-2001), Director for South American and Caribbean Affairs in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (1984-85), a Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (1983-1984) and a U.S. Foreign Service Officer with assignments to Mexico and the Department of State (1980-1985). In addition to his public service, he had a successful career as a partner with Miller & Chevalier in Washington, D.C., specializing in international trade and investment law, export controls and economic sanctions, international tax, defense procurement, and international litigation.

Brian A. Pomper, Partner at Akin Gump, offers public policy, political and strategic business advice to Fortune 500 and other companies, with a focus on international trade and intellectual property. He is also co-leader of the firm’s public law and policy practice and serves on the firm management committee. Mr. Pomper formerly served as chief international trade counsel to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). In that role, he was responsible for advising Senator Baucus and other members of the Senate Finance Committee on all aspects of the Committee’s international trade and economic agenda. Mr. Pomper serves as an adjunct professor teaching international trade policy and politics at George Washington’s Graduate School of Political Management. He was elected 2011 to serve a three-year term as a member of the Steering Committee for the International Law Section of the D.C. Bar. He also serves as an Educational Counselor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for which he interviews students from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia applying to MIT.

Viji Rangaswami joined Liberty Mutual in January 2014, as Vice President & Federal Affairs Officer. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Viji was chief trade counsel to the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she worked for over 12 years. While at the Committee, Viji played a key role in crafting and passing major trade legislation, including legislation to normalize US trade relations with China. She provided oversight and advice to members of Congress on ongoing trade negotiations, and worked with Administrations to implement subsequent negotiated agreements. Before joining the Ways and Means staff, Viji was an associate at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. She also held an appointment at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focused on international development. She has served as a visiting lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School.

Neena Shenai is principal global trade counsel at Medtronic where she leads the company’s global trade legal team. She is also a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute where she is working on a joint, bipartisan project on “Reconceptualizing Globalization” with the Brookings Institution. Shenai formerly served as trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means in the US House of Representatives where she advised on global market access, services, investment, and sanctions issues. She was involved in the passage of the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority package as well as 2011 legislation implementing the US-Panama free trade agreement and reauthorizing trade adjustment assistance. Previously, Shenai served as banking, commerce, transportation, and trade counsel for the US Senate Republican Policy Committee and senior adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security at the US Department of Commerce. She was an attorney in the international trade group of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, a professional trainee in the Rules Division of the World Trade Organization, and a judicial law clerk with the Hon. Evan J. Wallach then of the US Court of International Trade. Shenai has a JD from Vanderbilt University; an MPhil in international relations from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University; and a BA with high honors from Swarthmore College.

Paul H. DeLaney, Partner at Kyle House Group, joined the firm in the summer of 2013 and brings 15 years of private sector and public service experience working on international economic, policy, political and business issues.  He leads Kyle House Group’s international commercial counseling and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining KHG, Paul served as International Trade Counsel to Ranking Member Orrin G. Hatch for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance where he advised Senators and their staff on trade, investment, customs and international economic issues.  Paul assisted with Finance Committee hearings and legislative markups, drafted trade legislation and amendments, briefed Senators and staff, consulted with the Administration and the trade and customs agencies, and met with stakeholders and foreign governments. Paul assisted in managing the Senate floor during the consideration of seven trade bills.  He also drafted a bipartisan customs modernization and reauthorization bill, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2013 (S. 662), with Chairman Max Baucus’ staff.  Before joining the Finance Committee, Paul worked as Senior Attorney for Trade and International Affairs at FedEx Express on trade policy and international regulatory issues before the U.S. and foreign governments, as well as with industry and trade associations.  His work focused on trade policies, trade agreements and international regulatory policies that impacted the company’s international operations and investments. He was appointed to serve on Industry and Trade Advisory Committee 10 on Services and Finance by the Bush and the Obama Administrations.  He helped open the FedEx Express Washington, DC Office of Trade and International Affairs, and he coordinated advocacy efforts with FedEx Express regional and country teams around the world. Prior to joining FedEx Express, Paul worked at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for three years, including serving as Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Trade Representatives Rob Portman and Susan C. Schwab. Paul was integrally involved in strategic planning, agency operations and decision-making with senior political and career staff.  Paul was the front office point of contact for the White House Staff Secretary, National Security Council, and National Economic Council staff to coordinate interagency actions. Before joining USTR, Paul was a litigation associate at Vinson & Elkins, LLP in Washington DC. Paul attended Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law.  Paul has lectured at the University of Virginia School of Law, the Georgetown McDonough School of Business, and Georgetown University on international trade and disputes, as well as been a speaker at a wide range of association meetings, conferences, and panels. Paul is a Washington DC native, having grown up in Northwest DC and attended the St. Albans School for Boys.  He lives in Virginia, with his wife Meghan and their daughters Charlotte and Maia.