LARRY W. WALTHER SWORN IN AS USTDA DIRECTOR
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 17, 2008) – Larry W. Walther was sworn in today as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). The assumption of his duties follows his confirmation by the United States Senate on March 14, 2008 and official appointment by President George W. Bush.
"I am honored that President Bush has asked me to serve the American people as the Director of USTDA," said Director Walther. "I look forward to applying my private sector expertise in helping to open commercial opportunities for U.S. firms overseas and in so doing facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships. U.S. firms have much to contribute in terms of technology and ingenuity in helping our economic partners meet their development objectives."
Most recently, Mr. Walther served as the Director of the Arkansas Department of Economic Development (ADED). As the Director of the ADED, he was responsible for the overall direction and management of the Department and for representing the Governor and the State on all matters concerning statewide issues of economic development. Previously, Director Walther had an extensive career with SBC Communications, now AT&T. Starting as a Switching Engineer for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in 1970, he concluded his 30-year career at SBC as the Vice President for Corporate Services and Chairman of the SBC Foundation. In that capacity, he oversaw a philanthropic organization that managed $67.4 million in community and charity giving. In 1989, he was chosen as one of 20 private sector executives to serve a one-year appointment to the Bush Administration and was assigned to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Mr. Walther has served on the Board of Trustees of the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, since 1992, serving as the Chairman of the Board from 2001 until 2007. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Arkansas Easter Seals. Mr. Walther has also been a member of the Executive Board for Quapaw Area Boy Scouts, the University Of Arkansas Walton School Of Business Board Of Visitors, Downtown Little Rock Rotary, the University Of Arkansas Medical Sciences BioVentures Advisory Board, the Arkansas Policy Foundation, the Southern Technology Council, and the Little Rock Sertoma Club. He is also actively involved in the Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Larry and Janice, his wife of over 37 years, have two grown children, Bill and Mandy, and six grandchildren.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.