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NFTC Welcomes Richard Sawaya as New Director of USA*Engage
Date: 1/16/2009

Washington, DC The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today announced that Richard Sawaya will join the organization as the new Director of USA*Engage, effective January 19, 2009. In this role, he will oversee the advocacy efforts of the coalition, which was formed in 1997 to promote alternatives to the use of costly and ineffective unilateral U.S. sanctions. Sawaya will also work with the NFTC to press for reform of U.S. visa and entry policies and the export control system.

We welcome Richard to the team, and look forward to working with him to continue the important work of USA*Engage, said Del Renigar, Co-Chairman of USA*Engage and Corporate Counsel for International Policy & Trade Regulation for General Electric (GE) Company. Richard brings with him many years of experience in international affairs and will be key to our efforts to press for a U.S. foreign policy that includes the right balance of diplomacy, engagement and multilateralism.

Prior to joining USA*Engage, Sawaya served in a wide range of capacities, from leadership of key U.S. business organizations and associations to teaching and advocacy work in higher education. Sawaya joined Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in 1979, where he remained until 2000, holding a number of positions, including Senior Speechwriter and Manager of Planning and Corporate Issues at the companys Los Angeles headquarters. He also served as Director of Government & Tax Affairs and Director of International Affairs in ARCOs Washington, D.C. office.

Sawaya led efforts to facilitate ARCOs legal re-entry into Iran and successfully positioned the company to negotiate exploration contracts with Azerbaijans state-owned oil company, as well as those of the Republic of Georgia and Turkey. He also worked on ARCOs participation in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and secured the pivotal endorsement of the Gore-Chernomydrin Commission for ARCOs partnership with LUKoil.

Sawaya then founded the U.S.-Venezuela Business Council, focusing on U.S. corporate investment in Venezuela and the promotion of other business community priorities, including the 2001 bilateral tax treaty. Sawaya also served as Special Adviser to the President at the Fund for Peace, Director of Government Relations at the American Turkish Council, and as Special Representative on the Middle East for the Chevron Corporation.

Following these posts, Sawaya became Special Adviser to the President of George Washington University, and then Vice President for Government, International and Community Relations. Concurrently, Sawaya was an Associate Professorial Lecturer at the university, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at the Elliott School of International Affairs and the university Honors Program.

Sawaya succeeds Susan Frank, who recently left USA*Engage in light of family obligations. Frank has joined Lockheed Martins PAE subsidiary as in-house counsel.

The NTFC and USA*Engage are sorry to announce Susans departure, and on behalf of our members we thank her for all of her contributions and wish her the very best in her next endeavor, said NFTC President and USA*Engage Co-Chair Bill Reinsch.


About USA*Engage

USA*Engage ( is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council (, USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy world wide.

About NFTC

The National Foreign Trade Council ( is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.