US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced his intent to nominate Indian American Arun Venkataraman to a key position in his administration related to foreign commercial service.
Venkataraman is the nominee for Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service and Assistant Secretary for Global Markets, Department of Commerce, the White House said.
With over 20 years of experience in advising companies, international organisations and the US government on international trade issues, Venkataraman 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 counselled multinational firms and other organisations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights, and US and foreign trade policies.
As the first ever Director of Policy at the Department of Commerce’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.
While at the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), he led the development and implementation of the US-India trade policy as the Director for India, for which 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 Organization (WTO) and in negotiations on international trade agreements.
Before joining the USTR, Venkataraman was a legal officer at the WTO, advising the organisation on a wide range of issues raised in appeals of trade disputes between countries.
He began his career as a law clerk for Judge Jane A Restani at the US Court of International Trade. He holds a JD from the Columbia Law School, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a BA from the Tufts University.