Skip to Content

Resource Center

Weekly Trade Spotlight: Highlighting Women in Trade

By Brakeyshia Samms, Office of Public and Media Affairs

This past March was Women’s History Month. From career negotiators to those who advise the work of USTR, women work year round to advise, negotiate, and execute the President’s trade agenda. This weekly trade spotlight will recognize the contributions of female members on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) and their commitment to representing U.S. commercial and economic interests in trade policy.

Throughout its 50 years in existence, the men and women of the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) have played an important role in the creation and enforcement of U.S. trade policy. The Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) was established by Congress under the Trade Act of 1974 to advise the President and USTR on matters of trade policy (and its intersection with commercial and economic interests). ACTPN’s members represent key sectors of the economy that are influenced by trade, including state and municipal governments, labor and agricultural groups, small businesses, retail and service industries, goods suppliers and consumers. The current ACTPN committee has four serving female members: Jill Appell, Bobbi Brown, Pamela G. Bailey, and Sandra Kennedy. Each of these women has experience, perspective, and expertise in their respective fields, which helps them to effectively advise President Obama and USTR on various trade issues.

Jill Appell is the former President of the National Pork Producers Council, and held the same title for the Illinois Pork Producers Association. She also served as a member of the Illinois Governor's Task Force that helped to write the Livestock Management Facilities Act, which regulates livestock facilities in Illinois. She served as Illinois State Director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development Office during the Clinton Administration, in addition to serving on task forces for the Illinois Farm Bureau. Ms. Appell is currently a member of the USDA Farm Service Agency, the Illinois State Technical Committee, as well as the USDA Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade of Animals and Animal Products.

Bobbi Brown is the Founder and CCO of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Established in 1991 and acquired by Estée Lauder Companies in 1995, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has evolved into a full range of color cosmetics, fragrance, skincare, tools and accessories with a global presence in 60 countries. A New York Times bestselling author, Brown has written seven beauty and lifestyle books, and is the beauty editor of NBC's Today Show and the Contributing Beauty & Lifestyle Editor of Health magazine.

Pamela G. Bailey is the President and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Bailey served in the White House Department of Health and Human Services from 1970 to 1999, and later became the President and CEO of the world’s largest industry group for the medical technology sector, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, from 1999 to 2005. She is currently a director of Greatbatch Technologies, Inc., which produces medical device components. She is also on the board of the Reagan-Udall Foundation, a 501(c)(3) created by Congress to advance the science and research mission of FDA and GS-1US, which administers the international system of supply chain standards in the US.

Sandra Kennedy is the President of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). Under her leadership, RILA has grown from a niche trade association into the primary trade association for America’s largest and most innovative retail brands. RILA members account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad. Prior to joining RILA, Ms. Kennedy served as Director of the Leadership Dialogue Series for Accenture, a global management consulting and technology services firm. From 1993 to 2000, she was Senior Vice President of membership services for the National Retail Federation (NRF).

USTR commends these women and their fellow ACTPN committee members for their dedication and service to trade. Their work on trade policy with the President and USTR helps to advance global trade, and benefits American consumers and producers.

To learn more the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations please click here.