YTP Leadership

The YTP Executive Committee consists of nine members, who administer the logistics of the organization, coordinate YTP events and maintain member relations. Members are invited to serve either as officers or in supportive roles. Officer elections take place annually in September, and ad-hoc requests to support leadership are accepted at any time—just send an email to the officer with whom you’re interested in working.

YTP Executive Committee:

Executive Director: Diego Añez President: Drew Dushkes Vice President: Zach Sentementes Secretary: Yuzhe Pengling Officer At Large: Joy Marie Virga Officer At Large: Nicole Podesta Officer At Large: Laurel Parker Officer At Large: Fannie Delavelle President Emeritus: Abigail Struxness

Officer Roles:

President The President is responsible for coordinating YTP leadership, calling for executive committee meetings, representing YTP externally and maintaining YTP’s relationship with WITA. Vice President The Vice President is responsible for presiding over YTP in the absence of the President, as well as working closely in conjunction with Budget and Organizational Development Officers on their tasks. Secretary The Secretary is responsible for keeping meeting minutes, assisting the President with meeting agendas, presiding over YTP in the absence of the President and Vice President, and supporting the organization’s programming and development. Membership Outreach The Membership Outreach Officer is responsible for integrating new members into the organization and enlarging the existing membership base. The Committee is also responsible for cultivating and expanding YTP’s relationship with other Young Professional groups in and around Washington DC. Responsibilities include:
  • Expanding YTP’s membership and helping new members integrate into the organization
  • Maintaining YTP’s social networking sites
  • Liaising with other professional groups in Washington to identify opportunities to collaborate
Budget The Budget Officer is responsible for all of YTP’s budgetary matter. Responsibilities include:
  •  Drafting YTP’s annual budget within one month of fund allocation from WITA
  • Ensuring YTP’s adherence to the budget, including submitting new items to the Executive Committee for approval
Organizational Development The Organizational Development Officer is responsible for increasing the efficiency and efficacy of YTP, as well as ensuring that the transition of leadership after election is fluid. Responsibilities include:
  • Developing YTPs working plans and strategic goals
  • Building leadership through experience managing the organization
  • Coming up with creative ideas for increasing efficiency
Programming The Programming Officer is in charge of managing YTP’s events calendar. The Programming Committee suggests forum speakers and topics, and determines venues for forums, meetings and happy hours. Responsibilities include:
  • Shaping YTP’s calendar, including forums and happy hours
  • Maintaining contact with forum speakers and coordinate topics for forums
  • Setting up events that would provide YTP members with exclusive insight into trade inner-circle
Communications The Communications Officer is responsible for maintaining and expanding YTPs membership, largely through external relations and internal communication. Responsibilities include:
  • Developing YTP’s marketing strategy to attract new members
  • Reaching out to organizations around Washington whose employees may be interested in YTP
  • Acting as YTP’s external wing, and establishing professional contacts around Washington

Officer Biographies:


Drew Dushkes, President Drew works as an investigator at the U.S. International Trade Commission, where he oversees import injury investigations across a wide range of industries. He previously served on the YTP board in 2017 as an advisory board member. Drew received his B.A. in Global Studies from UCLA and his M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Originally from Los Angeles, Drew has lived in Washington DC for the last four years, and prior to that he lived and worked in South Korea. He enjoys hiking, cooking, playing volleyball, and of course rooting for his hometown Lakers. Most of all Drew looks forward to representing the organization in what will surely be another exciting and pivotal year for trade. 
Zach Sentementes, Vice President Zach Sentementes serves as a Senior Associate at Advanced Advocacy where he assumes both a supporting and lead role in the development of issue advocacy campaigns. Zach specializes in strategic communications and third-party activation and mobilization – engaging with allied think tanks, international policy-experts, and trade associations to advance clients’ interests. He provides guidance on complex policy issues at the state, federal, and international level while advocating for clients on issues such as intellectual property, healthcare, trade, agriculture, and energy. Zach holds a Bachelors of Arts and Science degree in Political Science and a minor in Mandarin studies from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He also studied in Beijing at the Communication University of China furthering his language studies, perfecting his Mandarin and lived in-country for a year. Additionally, while at Concordia University, Zach worked as a teaching assistant where he lectured on numerous topics ranging from international monetary policy to framing free trade agreements in two advanced-level multi-disciplinary political economics courses.
Yuzhe PengLing, Secretary  Yuzhe is an international trade associate with Mowry & Grimson, PLLC, a law firm based in Washington, D.C. Her practice focuses on trade remedy proceedings, including anti-dumping/countervailing duty disputes. Yuzhe regularly represents clients before the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and federal courts. Yuzhe received her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Peking University in Beijing, China, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an articles editor on the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law. While in law school, Yuzhe interned at the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Yuzhe lives in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband, a fellow University of Michigan Law School graduate. She enjoys horseback riding, dancing, and traveling to new and exciting places.
Joy Marie Virga, Officer At Large  Joy Marie is a Long Island native but has been living, working and studying in DC for the last years. She received a BA/MBA from Stony Brook University in New York and a JD from American Univers ity Washington College of Law. As a law student, she was Vice President of the most active student group, the International Trade and Investment Law Society.  Since graduating law school, she has been working as an Attorney-Advisor at CBP where she researches and writes administrative rulings.
Nicole Podesta, Officer At Large  Nicole serves as Manager, Global Strategies at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). She is responsible for promoting economic growth in the food, beverage, and consumer products industry by addressing emerging opportunities and challenges in global commerce, as well as the inter-relations between international and U.S. policy.  In her role at GMA, she aids in the development of policy positions and advocacy strategies to liberalize trade, promote regulatory coherence, encourage multi-sectoral partnerships and support science-based global standards. Before joining GMA’s Global Strategies team, Nicole served as an intern in Science and Regulatory Affairs, where she analyzed and developed policy recommendations with respect to food safety. Nicole received her Master of Public Health Nutrition with a concentration in Global Health from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University, and her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She grew up in a small town in Delaware. 
Laurel Parker, Officer At Large  Laurel is the Manager of FIVS-Abridge, an international wine regulatory and trade agreement database where she provides guidance on international trade policy and compliance matters impacting the global alcohol beverage industry. In this capacity, she works closely with international producers and government regulators from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum and the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG). She received her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University School of Law in Washington DC, and a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in International Relations and Spanish, from the University of South Carolina. Recently, Laurel earned a Diploma in Wine Law (focus on Trademarks & Geographical Indications for Wines & Spirits) from the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France as their first was the Jean –Jacques Bouffard Scholar. She has also authored articles on WTO law and compliance. In addition to serving on Young Trade Professionals’ Executive Committee, Laurel is an active member of the American Bar Association’s International Trade Committee and Women in International Trade where she currently serves as Assistant Vice-President of Special Events.
Fannie Delavelle, Officer At Large  Fannie Delavelle is an Analyst at the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab in Washington D.C., and the Manager & Co-Chair of the World Bank Youth Summit on Human Capital. Since joining the World Bank in 2017, she has worked on leveraging blockchain to make international trade and finance more inclusive and coordinated the launch of the Logistics Performance Index, a survey aimed at 20,000 firms in 160+ countries. Previously, she was the trade and public policy attache at the Embassy of France in the United States for two years and worked at the European Commission on a sustainability initiative in developing countries. Fannie graduated from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris in 2014, with two Master’s degrees in International Political Economy and in International Relations. She has been of the YTP leadership for the last 3 years.
Abigail Struxness, President Emeritus  Abigail has served on the YTP board since 2013. She is an associate at FBB Federal Relations, where she provides guidance to clients on supply chain and logistics issues, trade compliance matters, and legislative and regulatory affairs. She also manages the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, a national association of U.S. agriculture and forest products exporters. Prior to joining FBB, Abigail interned at Business Oregon, the Washington International Trade Association, and the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones. Abigail graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a B.A. in International Political Economy. She studied international development and comparative politics abroad in Windhoek, Namibia. She is originally from Portland, OR. YTP Bylaws_Revised_2011.pdf (170.758 KB)