WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative today announced the appointment of ten individuals to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC). Among the new appointees are Tribal, state, and local government representatives:
- Sam Cho, Commissioner, Port of Seattle
- Dr. James Collard, Director of Planning and Economic Development, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
- Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade, California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
- Eric Esoda, President and CEO, Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center
- Yusuf Hakeem, Tennessee State House Representative
- Rory Hoskins, Mayor of Forest Park, Illinois
- Mike Matson, Mayor of Davenport, Iowa
- Laurence Reszetar, Director of International Business Strategy, Minnesota Trade Office
- Daphnee Sainvil, Division Manager, Government Affairs and Economic Development, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Eugene Seroka, Executive Director, The Port of Los Angeles
“This highly qualified group of stakeholders and elected officials represent diverse backgrounds, interests, and priorities and I congratulate them on joining this important committee,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “The IGPAC is a critical link that ensures USTR’s work is responsive to needs of all people in the United States.”
The new appointees will join the five existing members on the committee. The IGPAC provides general policy advice to the United States Trade Representative on issues involving trade and development that have a significant relationship to the affairs of U.S. state and local governments. It is comprised of members who have expertise in general trade, investment and development issues.
Sam Cho, Commissioner, Port of Seattle
Sam Cho serves as Commissioner for the Port of Seattle, where he sets and manages policies that govern the country’s 4th largest container terminal by TEU volume and the 8th largest airport by passenger volume, resulting in $39 billion in local economic activity and 121,200 jobs. Previously, he was the Founder and CEO of Seven Seas Export, LLC, which exported U.S. poultry and dairy to Asia. He also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Administration for the U.S. General Services Administration during the Obama Administration, as Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA-07), and as a Program Analyst for the Bureau of Administration in the U.S. Department of State. He currently serves as an Executive Board Member for Greater Seattle Partners, a Term Member for the Council on Foreign Relations, a Political Partner for the Truman National Security Project, a Board Member for the Washington Council on International Trade, and as an Executive Board Member for the Washington State China Relations Council. Sam graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2014 and received his BA in Intonational Studies from the American University in 2013.
Dr. James Collard, Director of Planning and Economic Development, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Dr. Collard is currently the Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN), a Native American Tribal Nation. In this capacity he evaluates and facilitates business development proposals and tribal franchise opportunities. He also compiled and manages the CPN Economic Development Strategy. He is currently developing Iron Horse, a rail-anchored industrial park that serves as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment and Import/Export Center for U.S. domestic companies and is the only currently active Foreign Trade Zone (magnate site within FTZ 106) on Native American land. He is a Fellow and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council.
Dr. Collard recently was awarded the prestigious Certified International Trade Professional designation from the Forum for International Trade Training and in June 2022 was elected to the Board of Directors. He is also on the Executive Committee of the International Inter-tribal Trade & Investment Organization (IITO).
Dr. Collard is a current member and Past Chair of the OK Governor’s International Team and is a member of the Oklahoma District Export Council. He has traveled extensively internationally on business and as a participant on trade missions and diplomatic delegations. He was recently asked to provide testimony before the U.S. Trade Representative during the USTR Consultation Hearings. He is also the co-founder and chair of the Tribal-Municipal Dialogue, a group dedicated to increasing cooperation between tribal & local governments. He is currently working with the University of Oklahoma - College of Law on Indigenous Human Rights issues and serves as a Professor of Practice within the University of Oklahoma Regional and City Planning Program. As an additional duty, Dr. Collard is also serving as the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Police Chief. Prior experience includes service in the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard (obtaining the rank of Captain); seven years as a police patrol officer; seventeen years as a city manager, and five years as an executive in the environmental services industry.
Dr. Collard received his PhD and MA, both in Political Science, from the University of Missouri and his MPA and BA from the University of Oklahoma.
Emily Desai, Deputy Director of International Affairs and Trade, California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development
Emily Desai serves as the Deputy Director for International Affairs and Investment in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) where she oversees all aspects of the state’s international affairs, trade, and foreign direct investment strategies. She formerly served as GO-Biz’s Trade and Investment Representative for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa and as a Special Advisor to the International Affairs and Investment team. Emily was Senior Project Manager of International Affairs and trade in the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a Senior Policy Analyst for the Pacific Institute and the United National Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, and a Senior Associate for the Nonprofit Finance Fund. She received her MPP from the University of California, Berkeley and her BA from the University of Arizona.
Eric Esoda, President and CEO, Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center
Before serving as the President and CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC), Eric Esoda was NEPIRC’s Director of Finance and Administration, Director of Operations, and Executive Vice President. He previously was an Auditor and Consultant for Furst, Charles & Chambers, LLP, and for KPMG Peat Marwick. Eric graduated from the University of Scranton with his BS in Accounting and Philosophy and Theology. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Eric is the “proud product of a manufacturing family.”
Yusuf Hakeem, Tennessee State House Representative
Yusuf Hakeem has been the Tennessee State House Representative of District 28, Hamilton County, since 2018 and serves as a member on the Tennessee State House Commerce and Ethics committee. He previously served as City Council Chairman for the Chattanooga City Council, and as a Board Member for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Commission Zoning Board, Tennessee Board of Parole, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, and the City of Chattanooga School Board. He has garnered multiple service and leadership awards, including Public Citizen of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers Tennessee Chapter. Yusuf graduated from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga with a degree in Criminal Justice and Economics.
Rory Hoskins, Mayor of Forest Park, Illinois
Prior to serving as Mayor in the Village of Forest Park, Rory Hoskins worked for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), where he worked with multi-national corporations and with the Illinois Trade Office. He was selected to participate in a U.S. Department of State sponsored mission to Mauritania and Senegal in 2021. Rory also serves as a member of the Abolition Institute, where he has focused his efforts on human rights and the urgency for creating development opportunities. Rory received his JD and Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago and his BA in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mike Matson, Mayor of Davenport, Iowa
Before serving as the Mayor of Davenport, Mike Matson served for 12 years on the Davenport City Council and in other various positions of public service, including as a Davenport Community School District teacher for 18 years. He also served for 21 years in the U.S. army as an Army Sergeant Major and received multiple awards and medals, including the Legion of Merit, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, the Global War on Terrorism, an Expert Infantry Badge, a Ranger Tab, a Master Parachutist Badge, a Pathfinder Badge, and numerous Foreign Jump Wings. Mike received his BA from Columbia College and his MS from Sergeants Major Academy in Fort Bliss, Texas. He is a married father of four and proud grandfather of two.
Laurence Reszetar, Director of International Business Strategy, Minnesota Trade Office
Laurence Reszetar has served in the Minnesota Trade Office since 2014, first as the Director of Foreign Direct Investment, and now in his current role as the Director of International Business Strategy. The strategy he developed and implemented resulted in Minnesota leading the United States in the creation of jobs from foreign owned companies with a 46% increase in the four-year period from 2016-2020. He previously was an Attorney for Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP and has worked for the Council on Foreign Relations. Laurence graduated with his JD from the University of Minnesota Law School and from Georgetown University with his BA in Government, International Relations, and History.
Daphnee Sainvil, Division Manager, Government Affairs and Economic Development, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In her capacity and Division Manager, Daphnee Sainvil builds and strengthens relationships with both federal and state legislators, business residents, visitors, and other stakeholders citywide. As she rebrands Fort Lauderdale’s economic development, her focus on equity in international trade is unique to other cities in Florida. City Manager Chris Lagerbloom wrote that, “her belief is that international trade policies can promote sustainable social equity – something that is often overlooked when creating such policy.” She has used this skill to rebuild sister city relationships in the Middle East, which resulted in direct investments into the city, especially within Fort Lauderdale’s most vulnerable communities. Daphnee graduated with her MBA from Nova Southeastern University, her JD from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, and her BS in Legal Studies from Nova Southeastern University.
Eugene Seroka, Executive Director, The Port of Los Angeles
Eugene Seroka has served as the Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles since 2014. Seroka has distinguished himself as a leader throughout his 33-year career in shipping, global logistics and executive management. Throughout the pandemic, Eugene—who lived in China during the 2002-2004 SARS epidemic—led the Port’s response to the global health crisis, keeping cargo flowing as an essential service to the nation. In March 2020, Mayor Garcetti named Eugene the Chief Logistics Officer for the City of Los Angeles. His footing in the maritime industry was established as a sales support representative at American President Lines (APL) Limited’s Cincinnati office in 1988. After several key overseas positions in China, Indonesia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, he returned to the United States in 2010 to become President-Americas for the shipping line in Phoenix where he managed APL’s Liner Shipping business. Eugene holds an MBA and Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing from the University of New Orleans.