Meet the Nigerian-American woman Biden wants to be made U.S. Director of Trade

Abu Mubarik October 29, 2021
Enoh T. Ebong . Photo credit: USTDA (via Twitter)

Enoh T. Ebong is a Nigerian American who was in February appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the acting director of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). On October 14, USTDA in a press release said Biden has announced his intent to nominate Ebong as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. Vinai Thummalapally currently acts as director of the agency.

The USTDA is an independent federal agency that helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies.

If Ebong is made director of the USTDA, she will lead the agency in partnering with the country’s private sector in order to develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in emerging economies.

Ebong was born in Nigeria’s Lagos state. She spent her formative years in Nigeria before relocating to America. Her dad was a Nigerian civil servant while her mother worked as the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Economic Development and Reconstruction. Her mother’s role was to coordinate foreign investment to help build infrastructure and promote growth.

Ebong in a BBC interview noted that it was because of her father that she joined the American civil service at USTDA so as to collaborate with U.S. companies to find solutions to Nigeria’s development challenges.

“The Agency is one of the most effective, targeted and proven tools within the U.S. government. I’ve long believed in USTDA’s mission and program, which are fully aligned with the President’s vision of strengthening our economy and addressing climate as an essential component of American foreign policy and national security,” she said in February when she was made acting director.

Ebong’s February appointment as acting director of USTDA meant a return to the agency where she served in various roles, including as the agency’s General Counsel, and Deputy Director between 2004 and 2019. As the General Counsel for the agency, she provided legal advice and direction for all USTDA programs and operations activities.

Prior to joining USTDA in 2004, she practiced law at the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. representing public and private companies in offerings, financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance issues.

She also worked with the Milken Institute’s Centre for Advancing the American Dream in January 2020. She was in charge of the development of strategic partnerships in fulfillment of the mission to make the American Dream a reality in addition to expanding access to education, health, economic freedom and entrepreneurship.

Ebong received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School. She followed up with a Master of Arts in History, with honours, from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a member of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Bar.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 29, 2021


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