Principal Associate / U.S. Trade Director (ATIP)

  • Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 16 July 2020

Job Description

Project Description

Abt Associates seeks qualified candidates for U.S. Trade Director for the anticipated USAID-funded Africa Trade and Investment Program (ATIP). ATIP will advance Prosper Africa’s goals to boost trade, increase investment, and support business-friendly policy reforms. ATIP will work closely with U.S. Embassy Deal Teams across Africa to identify and close deals. The program will complement the U.S. Government’s trade and investment tools through customized services – from business consulting and transaction facilitation to targeted policy interventions.

The program will have an office based in the Washington, D.C. area with regional offices supporting activities in West, East, and Southern Africa, and later North Africa. The program is a unique whole of government initiative, requiring coordination with USAID, Department of Commerce, State Department and others to complement the U.S. government’s trade and investment tools through regionally tailored services.

Job Summary

The U.S. Trade Director will lead activities in the U.S. that support the acceleration of trade transactions between the U.S. and Africa, and support the improvement of the trade channels and business enabling environment with Africa. Travel internationally and domestically is estimated at 25%.

Position is contingent upon project award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lead ATIP’s strategy and implementation of trade transaction enhancement between the U.S. and Africa, focusing on developing trade opportunities between the U.S. and Africa. Support trade activities that emanate from the site offices in Africa and engender interest for trade with Africa with US importers and exporters.
  • Engage with US-based exporters and importers to identify trade opportunities with African private sector suppliers and buyers, provide information and support to individual trade transactions.
  • Manage the enabling environment activities of US-based trade team based on policy and regulatory aspects of the program; collaborate with stakeholders relating to policy and regulatory issues surrounding trade and investment with Africa, covering public and private stakehoders.
  • Develop and coordinate relations with stakeholder organizations (working with the COP and Investment Director) especially in the U.S., including USAID, Department of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), trade associations, Chambers of Commerce and other U.S.-based entities such as the Corporate Council on Africa.
  • Work with the regional teams’ trade specialists to troubleshoot trade transaction issues, and understand and facilitate varying needs for meeting trade regulatory requirements and apply expertise for individual business opportunities.
  • Coordinate with the ATIP regional trade teams to inform and work on specific trade issues with African governments and institutions such as customs, export trade agencies, trade associations, and private sector actors. Engage with government, private sector actors, and other stakeholders to address regulatory and other issues impeding or required for enhanced trade, including customs, sanitary/phytosanitary, tariff, and other aspects of the trade environment.
  • Manage and report on trade activities as required to meet USAID program requirements.

Preferred Qualifications

  • MBA and at least 15 years of relevant professional experience working in international business and trade, or Master’s in business law, trade law, economics, or similar field and at least 15 years of relevant professional experience working in trade and regulatory policy
  • Proven success in developing trade transactions in key sectors such as ICT, manufacturing, renewable energy, health services or products, agribusiness, or other industries, especially with Africa
  • Experience working with public and private stakeholders and clients
  • Relevant work experience in trade with Africa
  • At least 5 years of experience in a managerial or leadership role and collaborating with remote teams
  • Fluent in English; proficiency in French and/or Arabic is a plus


Minimum Qualifications

  • MA/MBA (15+) years of experience OR PhD (10 - 15) years of experience OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation; driving innovation and measurable impact for more than 50 years. What sets us apart is our evidence-based and multi-disciplinary approach to solving tough challenges in health, social and environmental policy and international development.

Specific areas we work in include:

  • Health
  • Education and workforce development
  • Climate change and the environment
  • Food security and agriculture
  • Housing and communities
  • Survey and data collection


Abt is a mission-driven company with a staff of 2,600. Our focus is on using evidence and cutting-edge methods to improve the lives and economic well-being of people worldwide.

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