Leila Aridi Afas, Director for Export Promotion
Leila Aridi Afas is the Director for Export Promotion at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency where she helps U.S. companies export goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. This is her second position with the Agency, she previously served as USTDA's Country Manager for the Middle East and North Africa. In this role she managed a multimillion dollar portfolio of investment analysis projects and trade capacity building activities in developing and middle income countries throughout the MENA region.
Prior to returning to USTDA, Ms. Afas was a Manager in Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector practice where she supported public sector clients around the world in their efforts to improve efficiency, increase transparency and foster economic development. Ms. Afas previously worked in the international division of Société Marocaine de Dépôt et Crédit in Casablanca, Morocco, supporting trade financing transactions and preparing risk assessments. She was also a financial analyst at the U.S. Trust Company in New York where she executed trades and managed overdrafts for asset management accounts in excess of $3.1 billion. Prior to that, Ms. Afas was a legislative aide in the House of Commons, London, providing analysis of economic and financial issues to a Member of Parliament. She also served as an independent consultant to the World Economic Forum during their Annual Meetings in Davos, Switzerland for three years in a row.
Ms. Afas earned her Master's degree in International Economic Policy with a focus on trade and development from Columbia University. She graduated summa cum laude from James Madison University with a B.A. in Political Science and English. Ms. Afas currently serves as a Commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission for Women, where she was appointed to two consecutive terms by the County Executive.