Arun Venkataraman is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. He was appointed by President Joseph R. Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 7, 2022, to lead the federal government’s efforts to promote exports abroad and attract inward investment. He was officially sworn in on April 25, 2022.
Venkataraman has over 20 years of experience advising companies, international organizations and the U.S. government on international trade issues. Most recently, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce, advising the Department of Commerce on trade and other international economic matters. Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Arun was a Senior Director at Visa, leading global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax and sanctions. He also served as Trade & Investment Policy Advisor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he counseled multinational firms and other organizations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights and U.S. and foreign trade policies.
During the Obama Administration, Venkataraman served as ITA’s first-ever Director of Policy, where he helped shape the U.S. government’s responses to critical challenges faced by firms in the U.S. and in markets around the world, including China and India. He also served in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) where he led the development and implementation of U.S.-India trade policy, for which he received the agency’s Kelly Award for outstanding performance and extraordinary leadership. He also served as USTR’s Associate General Counsel, representing the United States in litigation before the World Trade Organization and in negotiations on international trade agreements. Prior to USTR, Arun was a Legal Officer at the World Trade Organization, and served as Law Clerk for Judge Jane A. Restani at the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Born in Coimbatore, India, and raised in Houston, Venkataraman holds a juris doctorate from Columbia Law School, a Master of Arts in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University.