WASHINGTON - U.S.
Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick today announced a number of new senior
appointments at USTR. These changes in key executives will provide an
opportunity for the Administration to build on the successful work of the last
two years, such as launching new global trade negotiations in the WTO;
completing the accession of China and Taiwan into the WTO; securing the Trade
Act of 2002, including Trade Promotion Authority; completing new Free Trade
Agreements; and, aggressively pursuing trade liberalization globally,
regionally, and bilaterally.
"I am proud of
the top quality people we have at USTR, and I am honored to work with such a
fine group of professionals, all of whom, day-in and day-out, go the extra mile
in promoting America's trade interests," said Zoellick. "We have seen some good
and skilled friends depart, but I'm delighted with the new appointments, who
will strengthen our ability to advance the President's successful trade
are outlined below:
Counsel: John Veroneau will be the new General Counsel at USTR, succeeding
Peter Davidson, who is leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
Mr. Veroneau most recently served as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative
(AUSTR) for Congressional Affairs. His appointment will be effective April
• AUSTR for
Congressional Affairs: Matt Niemeyer will become the new AUSTR for
Congressional Affairs. Mr. Niemeyer previously served as the Deputy in that
office. His appointment will be effective April 1.
• AUSTR for
Services, Investment and Intellectual Property: James Mendenhall has been
named AUSTR for this office. For the past 18 months, Mr. Mendenhall served as
the Deputy General Counsel. Joe Papovich, the previous AUSTR, has retired from
USTR after 21 years of service. Mr. Mendenhall's appointment is effective
• AUSTR for
African Affairs: Florizelle "Florie" Liser, currently the AUSTR for
Industry, Market Access and Telecommunications, has been named AUSTR for this
office. Her appointment will be effective April 1.
• AUSTR for
Industry, Market Access and Telecommunications: Meredith Broadbent,
currently a Professional Staff Member on the House Ways and Means Committee, has
been named AUSTR for this office, succeeding Florie Liser. Ms. Broadbent's
appointment will be effective April 1.
• AUSTR for
South Asian Affairs: E. Ashley Wills, currently U.S. Ambassador to Sri
Lanka, will become the AUSTR in this newly created office. His appointment will
be effective in June.
Negotiator for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA): Ross Wilson,
currently the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, will become Senior Negotiator for
the FTAA, a new position, effective June 23.
• Deputy AUSTR
for Congressional Affairs: Lisa Coen has recently started as a Deputy in
this office, after service in the State Department.
information is detailed below:
Davidson, General Counsel at USTR from February 2001 to the present, is
leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector. Prior to coming USTR, Mr.
Davidson was the Vice President for Congressional Affairs at Qwest
Communications, coordinating all federal legislative activities. From January
1995 until June 1999, Mr. Davidson served as the General Counsel and Policy
Director to the Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives,
Representative Dick Armey.
Counsel, Peter Davidson played a key role in helping us restore American
leadership in expanding trade worldwide. We will miss him, and I wish him the
best in his future endeavors, " said Zoellick.
served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs at the
U.S. Department of Defense, a position requiring Senate confirmation, prior to
joining USTR in March of 2001. Before serving at the Department of Defense, Mr.
Veroneau served as Legislative Director to Senator William Cohen and Senator
William Frist, and as Chief of Staff to Senator Susan Collins, respectively. Mr.
Veroneau received his Juris Doctor degree and his undergraduate degree from the
University of Maine. He is a member of the Maryland Bar Association.
"In addition to
his strong Congressional experience, John Veroneau's legal background has been a
tremendous asset in his responsibilities representing USTR before the Congress.
Likewise, his experiences as Legislative Counsel and Legislative Director in the
Senate will serve him well in his new responsibilities as General Counsel, and
he is well acquainted with USTR's legal agenda," Zoellick said.
Niemeyer will assume the position of Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for
Congressional Affairs. Mr. Niemeyer currently serves as Deputy Assistant USTR
for Congressional Affairs. Prior to joining USTR, he served as the Deputy
Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He
also served as the manager of grassroots programs for the Independent Insurance
Agents of America and as a Legislative Assistant and political consultant for
House Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B. Solomon. Before joining Congressman
Solomon's staff, Mr. Niemeyer was a political analyst at AIPAC . In addition, he
spent two election cycles at the National Republican Congressional Committee and
worked as a Staff Assistant in the state office of U.S. Senator John McCain in
Phoenix, AZ. Mr. Niemeyer graduated from Arizona State University with a
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
"Matt Niemeyer has played a
critical role in our outreach to the Congress, and I and others have relied
heavily on his energy and judgment. He's very familiar with the issues and will
be able to hit the ground running with his new responsibilities," said
2001, James Mendenhall has served as Deputy General Counsel of USTR.
Prior to joining USTR, Mr. Mendenhall was a partner with the law firm of Powell,
Goldstein, Frazer and Murphy, L.L.P., where he specialized in WTO litigation,
international arbitration, and trade policy. Mr. Mendenhall graduated cum laude
from the Harvard Law School in 1992 and from the University of Notre Dame with
Highest Honors in 1989.
will have big shoes to fill, but he brings a breadth of experience, knowledge,
and problem-solving skills that will be invaluable as we advance our agenda in
the cutting edge areas of services, intellectual property, and investment," said
Papovich has retired from USTR after 21 years of service. Mr. Papovich most
recently served as the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Services,
Investment, and Intellectual Property. In this capacity, he was responsible for
U.S. trade and investment policy concerning these activities.
"Joe Papovich has
had a distinguished career spanning 21 years and six USTRs. Joe was particularly
instrumental in shaping the challenging intellectual property issues. Joe was
one of our most accomplished negotiators, the best of the best and we'll miss
him and his wise counsel tremendously," said Zoellick.
Prior to assuming
her position, Florizelle (Florie) Liser served as the AUSTR for Industry,
Market Access and Telecommunication, where she played an important role on
issues such as the steel safeguard and efforts to reduce global steel subsidies
and overcapacity; developing the U.S. proposal in the World Trade Organization
(WTO) on Non-Agricultural Market Access; and, global telecom issues, including
the recent telecom chapters of the Singapore and Chile FTA's. Before Ms. Liser
came to USTR, she worked at the Department of Transportation, serving as senior
trade policy advisor to the Secretary in the Office of International
Transportation and Trade. In this capacity, Ms. Liser coordinated trade and
transportation issues, including during the Uruguay Round trade negotiations,
and with Africa, Latin America, and APEC. From 1980 to 1987, Ms. Liser worked in
the USTR GATT Affairs office on WTO developing country trade issues, customs
valuation, import licensing, and non-tariff barrier issues. Ms. Liser holds a
M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of
Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in International Relations and
Political Science from Dickinson College.
"Florie Liser has
a significant background in a broad array of trade and development issues, and
has had experience working with Africa. She's one of our top negotiators and has
the experience and motivation to build on the excellent pioneering work of the
first AUSTR for African Affairs, Rosa Whitaker," said Zoellick.
Broadbent currently serves a Senior Professional Staff Member on the
Majority Staff of the House Subcommittee on Trade. She has worked on trade
issues with the Ways and Means Committee in various capacities since 1982,
dealing with such issues as the Trade Act of 2002; Section 301; the Caribbean
Basin Initiative; the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act; the
Generalized System of Preferences; the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of
1988; and NAFTA and Uruguay Round implementation legislation. She has a B.A. in
European History from Middlebury College, and an M.B.A. from George Washington
Broadbent has been an excellent partner as we have worked with the Congress,
helping USTR with trade issues, and performing great policy work for Chairman
Thomas," Zoellick said. "It will be a real plus to have her at USTR."
Wills was nominated on February 23, 2000 to be the U.S. Ambassador to Sri
Lanka, and began serving in Colombo on October 5, 2000. He previously served as
Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Mission in New Delhi,
India from August 1997 until July 2000. From 1995 until 1997, he was
Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs, also at the Embassy in New Delhi.
Ambassador Wills has been a Foreign Service Officer since 1972. Prior to India,
he served in Brussels, Belgium; Belgrade, Yugoslavia; as head of South African
Affairs at the State Department in Washington; as Deputy Director of the Office
of Political Advisor to the Commander of U.S. Forces in Grenada; in Bridgetown,
Barbados; Durban, South Africa; and Bucharest, Romania. Ambassador Wills
attended the State Department's Senior Seminar in 1991 and 1992. He was born in
Tennessee and raised in Mississippi and Georgia. He graduated with honors from
the University of Virginia in 1971 and has an M.A. in Economics from Johns
"I'm very pleased
we will have someone with Ambassador Wills' stature and expertise to help us on
South Asia trade issues, an increasingly important part of the world," Zoellick
Ross Wilson's new capacity as Senior Negotiator for the FTAA, effective
June 23, he will lead the US delegation to the FTAA Trade Negotiations Committee
(TNC) as well as conduct the inter-agency development of the US negotiating
positions in the FTAA. He will report directly to Deputy USTR Peter Allgeier,
who serves as co-chair of the FTAA process with Brazilian Deputy Secretary
General Hugueney. Mr. Wilson has been Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan
since October 2000. He is a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service with the
personal rank of Minister-Counselor. Prior to being nominated to serve in
Azerbaijan, he was Principal Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large and Special
Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New and Independent States of the
former Soviet Union (1997-2000), where he had direct responsibility for U.S.
relations with Ukraine, Central Asia and the Caucuses, as well as region-wide
economic and other issues. Ambassador Wilson also served as Deputy Executive
Secretary of the Department of State (1992-94), directly supporting the work of
Secretaries of State Baker, Eagleburger, and Christopher. He was Special
Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Counselor of
the Department (1990-92). He also served in the Department of State's Offices of
Soviet Union Affairs (1979-80) and Egyptian Affairs (1982-84). Overseas
assignments include Moscow, Prague, and Melbourne, Australia. Ambassador Wilson
speaks Russian and Czech. Ambassador Wilson received a Bachelors degree from the
University of Minnesota in 1977 and a Masters degrees from Columbia University
(1979) and the U.S. National War College (1995). He joined the Foreign Service
"I've known and
respected Ross Wilson for many years, and he is recognized as a top rank
economics officer in the Foreign Service, a skilled leader who can master many
diverse issues. Ross will work with Peter Allgeier and me to direct our FTAA
negotiations, which are entering a key phase," added Zoellick.
Prior to joining
USTR, Lisa Coen was a Special Assistant and the Senior Congressional
Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural
Affairs from October 2001 to February 2003. From October 1999 through October
2001, she held the position of Manager and Counsel for Federal Governmental
Affairs at United Technologies Corporation in Washington, D.C. Prior to that,
Ms. Coen was an attorney in the Public Law and Policy section at Akin, Gump,
Strauss, Hauer, and Feld from April 1994 through September 1999. Ms. Coen
received her Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University, and her
Bachelor of Arts degree from Providence College. While in law school, she worked
for the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI).
"I'm very pleased
that Lisa has joined our congressional affairs office. Her experience at the
State Department and in the private sector will complement our excellent
legislative affairs team," said Zoellick.