WIIT's Distinguished Past Presidents
Vanessa Sciarra, 2022-2023
Emily Beline, 2021-2022
Andrea Durkin, 2020-2021
Yuri Unno, 2019-2020
Lisa Schroeter, 2018-2019
Leslie Griffin, 2017-2018
Evelyn Suarez, 2016-2017
Stefanie Holland, 2015-2016
Nancy S. Travis, 2014-2015
Catherine Robinson, 2013-2014
Phyllis L. Derrick, 2012-2013
Roberta Kienast Daghir, 2011-2012
Camelia Mazard, 2010-2011
Maria Digiulian, 2009-2010
Tonya Kemp, 2008-2009
Susan M. Schmidt, 2007-2008
Nicole Bivens Collinson, 2006-2007
Angela Marshall Hofmann, 2005-2006
Rebecca Miller, 2004-2005
Alice Slayton Clark, 2003-2004
Barbara Wanner, 2002-2003
Monique Roske, 2001-2002
Janet Nuzum, 2000-2001
Melissa Coyle, 1999-2000
Mary K. Alexander, 1998-1999
June DeHart, 1997-1998
Loretta L. Schmitzer, 1996-1997
Valerie Ploumpis, 1995-1996
Barbara D. Linney, 1994-1995
Michele Sherman Davenport, 1993-1994
Laura M. Baughman, 1992-1993
Brenda Jacobs, 1991-1992
Robin Lanier, 1990-1991
Kathleen Patterson, 1989-1990
Julia K. Hughes, 1987-1989
Vanessa Sciarra is the Vice President for Trade and International Competitiveness at the American Clean Power Association (ACP), a multi-technology renewable energy industry trade group. ACP represents solar, storage, wind and transmission companies, along with manufacturers and construction companies, developers and owners/operators, utilities, financial firms and corporate purchasers in the clean energy value chain. She has deep experience in the international trade world in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining ACP, she worked at the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and at the Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT) where her work involved advocating for trade and international investment issues for companies in many sectors of the economy. In addition to her trade association work, she has served as a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice and as an Assistant General Counsel with the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). A member of the District of Columbia Bar, she also has had a significant career in private practice representing clients in international trade matters at two law firms. She also currently serves as President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT), based in Washington, DC, which works to promote the professional development of women in international trade and business and to raise public awareness of the importance of international trade.
Emily Beline is a Senior Attorney for International Regulatory Affairs with FedEx. In this capacity, she represents FedEx in regulatory and trade matters with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Emily advocates for FedEx before various U.S. government agencies, international fora, and collaboratively with other industry stakeholders.
Emily joins FedEx after several years with the U.S. Federal Government. From 2013 until 2016 Emily worked in Regulations & Rulings, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs & Border Protection. There, she authored binding administrative decisions on customs and trade laws, including tariff classification, eligibility for preference under the NAFTA and other free trade agreements, country of origin, marking, and labeling, as well as penalties. After CBP, Emily was an Attorney with the Office of the Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement and Compliance with the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. During her tenure, she counseled her client on the enforcement and administration of U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws and defended the agency before the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Prior to joining the U.S. Federal Government, Emily was a Trade Policy Officer with the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. As a representative of the Government of Canada in the United States, Emily provided legal, technical, and strategic analysis on matters involving customs and trade to Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S., governmental officials in Ottawa, Members of Parliament, and key Canadian industry stakeholders.
A dual-citizen with Canada, Emily grew up in Pennsylvania, graduated from Drexel University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law with a focus on International Business & Trade. Emily now lives on Capitol Hill with her husband Tom, and is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan – especially the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Lisa Schroeter is the Global Director of Trade and Investment Policy for Dow. As part of the corporate Global Government Affairs team, Lisa’s responsibilities focus on trade policy and regulations, 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.
Her role has direct responsibility for developing the company’s global trade strategy, driving impact assessments and response to emerging trade issues and facilitating government affairs strategies aligned with Dow’s investment priorities. Lisa manages the company’s outreach to key trade-related entities in the US Administration, Washington DC embassy community and across key governments.
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 CEOs work with the U.S. Administration and the European Commission to implement practical, detailed recommendations. Ms. Schroeter joined TABD in 1999, and managed the process on behalf of the Boeing Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, United Technologies Corporation and Xerox.
Leslie was previously Senior Vice President for International Public Policy for UPS, Vice President for International Governmental Affairs for New York Life Insurance Company and Managing Director for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of New York Life International.
Leslie taught and studied in Nanjing, China and is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She serves on the boards of WorldBoston, Bunker Hill Community College, and the German-American Business Council of Boston, and was the 2017-2018 president of Women in International Trade, the Washington, DC-based association representing over 700 trade professionals. She holds an M.Sc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College.
Evelyn Suarez advises companies engaged in international trade on customs, anti-corruption and trade policy matters. Ms. Suarez represents clients before all trade agencies, in litigation before the U.S. Court of International Trade, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court and on legislative matters. Ms. Suarez spent her early professional career at the U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Customs & Border Protection predecessor.
Today, Ms. Suarez is a frequent speaker and author on customs and international trade topics of the day, most especially USMCA and the Section 232 and 301 tariffs and the product exclusion processes. She is a past President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT) and serves on the Virginia Maritime Association Board and Advisory Boards to George Washington University Center for International Business Education & Research, Old Dominion University Maritime Institute and Georgetown University Law International Trade Update.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Douglass College, Rutgers University and her juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the DC Bar. She is proud to have received the Martindale-Hubbell 2019 Judicial AV Preeminent rating and is consistently listed in The Best Lawyers in America for International Trade and as a “Super Lawyer” in International Trade law in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine.
Roberta Kienast Daghir is the Deputy Director for Trade Remedy Compliance at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Working in the Office of Policy of the International Trade Administration’s Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) bureau, Ms. Daghir is responsible for coordinating the monitoring and analysis of foreign trade remedy investigations. She assists U.S. exporters by intervening with foreign governments when appropriate and ensuring U.S. trading partners comply with World Trade Organization obligations. Ms. Daghir also supports E&C’s initiative to identify and curb efforts to circumvent U.S. antidumping and countervailing duties.
In 2018 and 2019, Ms. Daghir served the Senate Finance Committee as counsel on Ranking Member Wyden’s international trade team, as a Brookings LEGIS Fellow. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Ms. Daghir was in private legal practice, focusing on international trade matters, among other practice areas. She holds a Juris Doctor and a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University; her undergraduate degree is from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Camelia Mazard practices in all areas of international trade and customs law. In fact, she participated in many of the major trade disputes over the past twenty years. Her cases include safeguards investigations of steel; antidumping investigations of cold-rolled steel from the Netherlands, hot-rolled steel from India, grain-oriented silicon electric steel from Italy and Japan, metal calendar slides from Japan, magnesia carbon bricks from the People’s Republic of China and Mexico; and, countervailing duty investigations of hot-rolled steel from India and magnesia carbon bricks from the People’s Republic of China. In addition, Ms. Mazard also represents domestic and international clients with respect to import and export transactions, tariff matters and NAFTA issues. Ms. Mazard also has experience representing private parties and sovereign governments before U.S. courts and international arbitral tribunals. During school, Ms. Mazard served as a Legal Intern for the State Department at the United States Mission to the United Nations and for Duracell, Inc. Ms. Mazard is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Ms. Mazard received a M.A.L.D. from Tufts University (The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) in 1999; a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 1998; and, a B.S. (Business Administration) from the University of Southern California in 1994, graduating summa cum laude. She is also Executive Vice President of the Organization of Women in International Trade and on the boards of the Women in International Trade Trust, the Capital City (DC) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and the Washington, DC Chapter of the Northeasterners, Inc. Ms. Mazard is fluent in French and proficient in Spanish.
Tonya Kemp is the Senior Principal Trade Policy Advisor for Amway Corporation. Ms. Kemp is the Washington, DC representative responsible for Amway Corporations regulatory policy strategies for its consumer goods products which range from cosmetics and homecare to durables and nutritional supplements. She manages global regulatory issues with major trade associations throughout the world, government agencies and scientific partners.
Ms. Kemp has handled trade policy issues in Washington, DC for more than 20 years. Prior to her work with Amway, Ms. Kemp was the Senior Director of International Trade Policy for the Personal Care Products Council. She was the representative on trade policy issues for US wheat and soybean farmers from 2003 until 2009.
Amway is an $8.8 billion direct selling company based in Ada, Michigan. All of Amway products are sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2018 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the 2018 Direct Selling News Global 100.
Susan Schmidt, Senior Manager Latin America Government Affairs for Apple Inc., manages Apple’s public affairs for the Americas. She supports the broad range of Apple’s business and products. Prior to joining Apple, Susan was a partner in the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLC, and a managing director at ManattJones Global Strategies. She developed public affairs strategies to support market entry and access as well as overcoming doing business obstacles. Her legal work focused on international trade, trade policy, and export controls & sanctions. Before Manatt, Susan was an Economic officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. Her focus was on Latin America, serving in Colombia and Mexico and in the IP office in Washington.
Nicole Bivens Collinson leads the International Trade and Government relations practice of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., and serves as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office. She is also a member of the Firm's Operating Committee. Ms. Collinson has appeared on MSNBC and NPR as a subject matter expert and has over 30 years of experience in government, public affairs and lobbying. She has drafted and guided the successful implementation of several pieces of key international trade legislation positively affecting the bottom line of many U.S. companies.
Barbara Wanner currently serves as Vice President for ICT Policy at the US Council for International Business (USCIB). She works with Fortune 500 corporate members and government officials on a wide range of information, communications, and technology (ICT) issues, including initiatives to promote cross-border data flows, enhance cybersecurity and privacy of personal data, and promote sound Internet governance and management of the Domain Name System (DNS). Ms. Wanner works through USCIB’s international affiliations – the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC) -- and directly with the U.S. government to provide a U.S. business perspective into international negotiations on those issues. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN and its specialized agencies, APEC and the OECD.
Prior to joining USCIB, she served as Director, Global Services Summit at the Coalition of Service Industries (CSI), where she planned CSI’s annual Global Services Summit as well as staffed its ICT Working Group, promoted CSI members’ interests in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and advocated before the US Congress on legislation to grant Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations.
Mary Alexander was one of the original members of WIIT. After serving President, and twice as a Board member, she became the first Chair of the WIIT Trust and received first WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Alexander was head of Government and Public Affairs for Panasonic Corporation of North America before retiring. Before joining Panasonic, Ms. Alexander's professional career included the Trade Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, and the offices of Senator Charles H. Percy (R-IL), and Congressman Orval Hansen (R-ID). She also served as Director of Trade Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. Ms. Alexander worked with the U.S. State Department in Damascus, Syria and served as Chair of the International Advisory Council of EcoPeace Middle East. Ms. Alexander has a BA in History from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania with a minor in education. In addition, she received a Graduate School certificate in Natural History Field Studies provided by the Audubon Naturalist Society and is a Virginia Master Naturalist. She currently is a roving naturalist for the Fairfax County Park Authority.
June Langston DeHart is a Partner in the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP, and a former Managing Partner of the Washington , D.C. office. She also previously chaired the Federal Government Practice Group. Ms. DeHart advises clients and their CEOs and Boards of Directors on Federal policies and the impact on their industry. Her clients include U.S. and international businesses, state and local governments, foreign governments, and other public entities.
Before joining Manatt, Ms. DeHart served as Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee on Nuclear Proliferation and Government Processes for the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and as Legislative Assistant and counsel to Senator Thad Cochran of MS. Ms. DeHart serves on a several non-profit boards,including the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the OAS Trust for the Americas, and the National Capital Area Council of Boy Scouts.
She also served as Chair of The Advocacy Group (TAG);President of International Women's Forum, DC Chapter; served on the Board of the Center for International Private Enterprise and as President of the Association of Women in International Trade (WIIT). In 2017, Ms. DeHart was selected for the Harvard Business School's Women on Boards, an executive leadership program.
Valerie Ploumpis is national policy director for Equality California, based in Washington, D.C.. She is a political expert with more than two decades of experience in issue-advocacy campaigns, grassroots education and mobilization, coalition building, lobbying and media outreach. She serves as co-chair on the board of directors of OutRight International Action, a global LGBT civil rights organization, and was board co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund’s Campaign Board, a national PAC which endorses and supports LGBT political candidates and elected officials. Prior to joining Equality California, she was a principal at Burnside & Associates, where she managed political and mobilization campaigns. Prior to that, Ploumpis served as a legislative and policy advocate for several international trade organizations in Washington, D.C. She holds a BA in international relations from Mills College and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.
Barbara Linney is a partner and co-lead of the international trade practice team at the law firm of BakerHostetler, based in the firm’s Washington DC office.
Ms. Linney has been advising both U.S. and global clients on international trade and business issues for more than 25 years, including on matters such as export controls and economic sanctions, defense security and foreign investment, and anti-corruption compliance. She serves clients across a broad spectrum of industries, with particular focus on the defense, aerospace, oil and gas, technology, maritime and medical device industries.
Her practice involves representing clients before various federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Commerce (BIS), Defense (DCSA), and State (DDTC), as well as the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Michele Sherman Davenport is an international trade lawyer who defends a broad range of clients, from Canadian provincial governments to integrated steel manufacturers to farmers, before US agencies and courts, and in international litigation and arbitration. Michele is qualified to practice law as both a US lawyer and an English solicitor, and has four honors degrees in law from three prominent universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. She is the founding partner of Davenport & James PLLC, where her practice combines intensive litigation with strategic planning for her clients.
Brenda Jacobs, an international trade and customs attorney who began her trade career in the general counsel offices of the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce before entering private practice, now heads her own legal and trade policy/government relations firm, where she is joined by fellow former WIIT President, Alice Slayton Clark.
Kathleen F. Patterson is an attorney and mediator, now retired, whose career focused on international trade law and dispute resolution. She developed materials and led a State Department funded program to create a nation-wide network of over 240 Romanian mediators. For almost nine years, Ms. Patterson served as a mediator/arbitrator to resolve disputes related to the FCC’s order reallocating the 800 MHz radio spectrum. She served as an alternative dispute resolution attorney (disaster assistance employee) for FEMA. She chaired and/or served on bi-national dispute settlement panels under international trade agreements. In addition, she mediated over 200 matters over 15 years at the D.C. Superior Court. Earlier, Ms. Patterson specialized in international trade law, advising governments, manufacturers, exporters and importers. She developed broad experience in matters concerning bilateral or multilateral trade agreements. Ms. Patterson has written on international trade issues and lectured internationally. Before establishing a sole practice, Ms. Patterson was a partner in the law firm of Whitman & Ransom and, before, in the international law firm of Kaplan Russin & Vecchi. As an adjunct law professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, she taught comparative trade law and international commercial law. Ms. Patterson served as general counsel or sat on the boards of several professional, trade and non-profit organizations.