Special Feature Archive
April 9, 2010
Michael Chapnick | (703) 875-4357


USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak Takes Oath of Office
USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak Takes Oath of Office

ARLINGTON, VA – Today, Ms. Leocadia I. Zak was formally sworn-in as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations presided. Director Zak was nominated by President Barack Obama on November 16, 2009 and was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 10, 2010. Director Zak assumed her duties several weeks ago after taking the oath of office in a brief ceremony before USTDA staff.

Having assumed the duties of Acting Director on January 20, 2009 and now as Director, Ms. Zak will continue to lead USTDA in its efforts to promote economic growth in emerging markets, while simultaneously helping American businesses to export their products and services and support U.S. job growth. Shortly after her confirmation by the Senate, Ms. Zak was appointed to the President's Export Promotion Cabinet.

During her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 28, 2010, Director Zak noted that one of the Agency's greatest contributions to effective foreign assistance is its ability to bring together the resources of the United States and host country governments, the private sector, and multilateral institutions to find workable solutions to development priorities that provide benefits to all the parties.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice Speaks to USTDA

"The agency has earned a reputation for responsiveness in the business community, within the U.S. development community, and in the countries receiving our assistance," said Director Zak. "The benefits the agency has brought to our host countries and their citizens in the form of economic development, and to the U.S. economy, in the form of exports and resulting job creation, is nothing short of remarkable. In addition to its development achievements around the world, USTDA has played a key role in generating over $40 in U.S. exports for every program dollar spent."

Prior to joining USTDA in 2000 as General Counsel and then Deputy Director, Ms. Zak was a partner in the Washington, D.C. and Boston offices of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. practicing in the areas of corporate, municipal and international finance.

Ms. Zak was also an Adjunct Professor of Law and has taught "International Project Finance" at the Boston University School of Law, Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law Studies and at the Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Zak received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops to support development of modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's efforts create an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

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