Country Specialists

The following Senior Commercial Officers and Commercial Specialists will be available for One-on-One meetings.

Pre-registration is REQUIRED for one-on-one meetings with our market specialists. Upon receipt of your registration to the conference, you will be contacted regarding your interest in one-on-one appointments.

Updated February 9th. Program is subject to change. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Click on the country/region/program to preview our specialists.

Advocacy Center

Central America




EU Mkt Strategy


South Africa


EU Standards









The Nordics

World Bank



Saudi Arabia


Mack Tadeu is currently Deputy Director of the Advocacy Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Advocacy Center assists US companies to expand their sales to foreign governments. The Center coordinates U.S. government resources and authority to create a level playing field on behalf of American businesses. He manages a staff of 25 professionals and monitors a database of 950 active advocacy cases involving 150+ U.S. companies with commercial interests across 125+ countries.

John Kanawati has been a Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Sydney since 1997. Prior to joining the Commercial Service, John worked for the Australian Trade Commission, an export promotion agency that assists Australian companies do business around the world. John has developed market entry strategies, undertaking market research and connected numerous U.S. exporters with Australian business partners in a wide range of industry sectors.

Teresa Wagner is the Commercial Specialist for the Environmental and Automotive sectors in Brazil.  She responds to a wide range of trade inquiries from U.S. firms seeking to export to Brazil, as well as requests for Brazil-based, prospective partners and end-users.  Performs research on the sectors of responsibility and shares results via FCS publications, including the Country Commercial Guide.  Monitors and analyzes trade policy and regulatory issues that affects the export of U.S. goods and services to Brazil.  Forecast, prepare, coordinate and supervise deployment of FCS core service portfolio.  This includes such diverse deliverables as matchmaking services, trade missions, and customized client promotion solutions. 

Jared Byrne works with the Commercial Service out of the Calgary, Alberta consulate; where, beginning in 2012, he was assigned to cover the Clean-Technology, Environmental, and Digital Media/ICT; with a similarly strong focus on Social Media and Innovation as well as specializing in helping U.S. firms cross the U.S. – Canada border efficiently and effectively. Jared is a member of CS Canada’s Energy team, the Global Energy and Environmental teams, as well as a co-founder of the North American Energy Innovation Exchange (NAEIE). His portfolio includes promoting U.S. exports, advocating on behalf of U.S. firms, and promoting foreign direct investment in the U.S. through trade missions, trade events, Gold Key matchmaking Market research and other client services.

Ms. Aileen Crowe Nandi, Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Central America, arrived in El Salvador in July 2014. She manages the U.S. Department of Commerce’s operations in El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Honduras and oversees partnership programs with the State Department on commercial activities in Belize and Nicaragua. Before returning to the United States, Ms. Nandi served five years in India: Chennai (2008-2011) and Calcutta (2006-2008). As Principal Commercial Officer for South India, Ms. Nandi managed three U.S. Commercial Service (CS) offices (Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad) and coordinated with Colombo, Sri Lanka, a partnership post.

Ellen Lenny-Pessagno is currently Senior Commercial Officer for CS at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile. From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Lenny-Pessagno was Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Ms. Lenny-Pessagno served at CS Houston, Texas from 2005 to 2008. Working with Commercial Service offices along the U.S.-Mexico Border, Ms. Lenny-Pessagno developed programs to provide enhanced support to US companies interested in selling to the arge industrial markets along this 2,000 mile border. She began a three-year assignment at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002 as Principal Commercial Officer. From 1997 to 2002, Ms. Lenny-Pessagno served as Commercial Attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina. Ms. Lenny-Pessagno earned an M.A. in international commerce and policy from George Mason University in 1992 and a B.S. in business administration from Wake Forest University in 1987.

Catherine Feig returned to Beijing in June 2013 to begin a 3-year tour as a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy covering standards issues and the IT industry. Prior to her arrival she served in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Export Assistance Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she counseled U.S. companies in South Florida on exporting to numerous worldwide markets. Ms. Feig began her work in China in 2006 with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, followed by a tour in Shenyang, China as Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate from 2009-2011. She began her work for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. in 2001, after many years in the private sector. Ms. Feig holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baylor University.

Mr. Kully Nelson joined the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai in 2011.  He manages the administrative and marketing operations in addition to client service oversight.  Prior to Shanghai, Kully served at the Commercial Service’s domestic field office in downtown San Francisco, where he worked from 2007 covering digital media and ICT.  Kully has worked in Asia on and off for twelve years, having worked for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and Beijing New Oriental Education & Technology Group in Yangzhou and Beijing, China.  He has a master’s degree in international economics and finance from the Brandeis International Business School and is an alumnus of St. Olaf College. Kully speaks fluent Chinese and good French.

Carmine D' Aloisio

Mr. Carmine D’Aloisio is currently Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. In June 2012 he was appointed as the first Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Europe. In this capacity he leads U.S. diplomats and local nationals in 24 European countries. He joined the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) in 1982, shortly after it moved from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Commerce Department. The mission of USCS is to promote U.S. exports and to advocate for and protect U.S. business interests abroad.

Louis Fredricks represents the U.S. Commercial Service at the United States Mission to the European Union and is a member of the Standards Team.  In his capacity, he monitors EU legislative initiatives that impact existing and potential U.S. exporters.  Louis counsels U.S. companies on complex EU product certification requirements including CE marking and also covers the automotive sector.  He also follows the development of consensus-based standards by the European Standardization Organizations because of the unique link between harmonized European standards and EU regulatory requirements.

Myrline Mikal-Goide is team leader for the high-tech group and senior trade specialist at the Commercial Service of the American Embassy in Paris. She covers telecommunications, audio-video-visual/broadcasting and energy industries within her portfolio, where she provides business counseling to U.S. companies on business opportunities and expert advice on market trends, growth forecasts and related market entry strategies.

Tobias Wester joined the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Consulate General in Frankfurt, Germany in 2013 as Commercial Specialist. In his position he supports U.S. exporters of Environmental Technologies, Technical Textiles and Photographic Equipment that are interested in exporting their products and services to Germany/ Europe. His duties include in-depth trade counseling, business matchmaking, market intelligence and commercial diplomacy. He supports CS Europe’s social media activities and promotes German investments in the U.S. as part of the Select USA program. Tobias Wester has a background in international business and is looking forward to supporting U.S. firms at the DGM.

Arup Mitra is the Senior Commercial Specialist in Kolkata, India. He has 17 years of experience in assisting U.S. companies enter the India market. He leads India’s Environment/Water Team, and is an active member of infrastructure, energy and mining sector teams. He is experienced in counseling U.S. companies; has led important buyer delegations to several trade shows in U.S.; delivered “India Market Opportunity” presentations and published a number of market research reports. From 1997 till 2005, as the Regional Director for the U.S. Asia Environmental Partnership Program of USAID & USDOC, he created significant linkages between U.S. and India in domains of environmental technology, governance, institutional partnerships and sharing of knowledge and best practices.

During 20 years with the U.S. Commercial Service, Andrew Wylegala has assisted especially small- and medium-sized U.S. firms with their trade and investment objectives in markets as diverse as Mexico and Germany. He received Commerce’s Bronze Medal for superior federal service three times, most recently for work in Baghdad, from which he opened an office in Iraq’s Kurdish Region. Andrew’s experience includes assignments to the U.S. Treasury, the Trade Representative, and the International Trade Commission. He worked on trade issues for U.S. Senator Murkowski and was an LBJ Intern for the House Economic Stabilization Committee under Congressman LaFalce.

Francis “Chip” Peters is the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya and is responsible for counseling U.S. companies entering overseas markets, advocating for U.S. commercial interests, and organizing trade promotion activities in East Africa. He previously served with the U.S. Commercial Service in Bangkok, Thailand and Shanghai, China. Prior to his government service, Chip worked for 15 years as a marketing and sales executive in the telecommunications and computer industries in the U.S., Malaysia, and Thailand. Chip also taught for four years as an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin and served two years as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa.

Mitch Larsen began his tour as the Deputy Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul in August 2012.His previous assignments include: Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Santiago, Chile (2007-12); Deputy Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Baghdad (2006-07); Senior Commercial Officer for Guatemala and Honduras, U.S. Embassy Guatemala City (2003-06); Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate General Melbourne, Australia (1998-2002); and Deputy Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kiev, Ukraine (1996-98).

Miguel Vazquez is a Department of Commerce Trade Specialist in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico.  He is responsible for the renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building sectors in Mexico and assists U.S. companies in locating business opportunities and increasing export sales to Mexico. Before joining the U.S. Government, he worked in Fortune 500 companies such as EDS and Motorola, where he was the Compliance Manager for the Americas & Israel.

As a Commercial Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico City, she sees her main challenges as spurring the development of the Mexican smart grid market by providing U.S. companies platforms to convey the technical and business cases for grid modernization; identifying the short and long-term opportunities for U.S. exporters resulting from Mexico’s telecommunications reform; and promoting the U.S. technologies behind emerging concepts such as the Internet of Everything, smart cities, cloud computing, big data, etc. to Mexican buyers. Teresa joined the U.S. Commercial Service-Mexico City in October 2011. Prior to that she worked as an independent business facilitator for small and medium U.S. companies, helping them identify potential partners in the Mexican market. In this capacity, information and communication technologies became her sectors of focus. Before this, she worked for Aon Consulting, a subsidiary of Aon Corporation, in Chicago, llinois, where she coordinated communication with the company’s Latin American branches.

Mr. Vidar Keyn is the Head of Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway. He represents the U.S. Commercial Service, an agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Global Markets. Keyn serves as the day‐to‐day manager of the Section and is responsible for all the agency’s export promotion, commercial diplomacy, and investment promotion programs in Norway, consistent with U.S. Commercial Service regionalization strategies in the Nordic and European region, aimed at promoting and protecting U.S. commercial interests and delivering customized solutions to ensure that U.S. businesses compete and succeed in the market.

Mr. Saeed has served as a Commercial Specialist with the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia for the past thirty seven years both at the embassies in Jeddah and Riyadh. Mr. Saeed counsels and assists Saudi business executives looking for US equipment and supplies. He also assists visiting and resident American business persons identify new opportunities and potential partners in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Saeed has recruited and led a numbers trade delegations to Power-Gen, ASHRAE, MINExpo, Builders Show, CONEXPO, OTC, and DistribuTECH. His areas of expertise include oil, gas, petrochemicals, chemicals, architectural and engineering services, operation and maintenance, construction materials, refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, power and energy (including Renewable Energy), water, mining, plastics, pollution control, industrial process controls, metal working machinery and equipment.

Haw Cheng joined the U.S. Commercial Service ( in 1992. He brings with him some humble experience he has had with National Semiconductor in the material-testing arena, and as an operations officer with entertainment and resort operator, Sentosa Development Corporation, as well as his executive role with the Singapore Manufacturers’ Association.

At the Commercial Service in Singapore, Haw Cheng has sector responsibilities covering the aerospace, maritime, safety and security, and the environment sectors, building and construction industry, transportation and logistics.

Mohammed Essay is a Commercial Specialist at the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) office, in Johannesburg, South Africa, a position he has held since March 2012.  Prior to joining FCS, Mr. Essay was a Financial and Investment Analyst at a firm in Marshalltown, Johannesburg (2008-2012).  Mr Essay currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics & Econometrics and a Post Graduate degree in International Trade and Development obtained from the University of Johannesburg. Mohammed currently manages the Finance, Agriculture and Environmental sectors and is also the African Regional Agricultural team leader.

George Messiha joined the U.S. Department of Commerce in June of 2011 with seventeen years of experience in sales and business development working for a number of international companies with a wide variety of products and services, in both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. In twelve years in the UAE, George developed good market knowledge and an excellent network of key market players and decision makers.

In his capacity as a Commercial Specialist at the Commercial Service Office in Abu Dhabi, George handles active sectors like Energy, Defense, Construction and Aerospace. Since 2012, George has the lead on the CS presence at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), The Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX), and made important contributions to supporting the U.S. presence at the Dubai Airshow and the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, TX.

Claudia Colombo joined the Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in London in 2011 as a Commercial Specialist for Energy and Environment. She provides in-depth counseling to U.S. companies on business opportunities, market trends, and market entry/expansion strategies. Prior to joining the U.S. Embassy, Dr. Colombo worked for URS Corporation as a Principal Project Manager where she oversaw high profile, multi-disciplinary projects, acting as the lead consultant on sustainable development and energy strategies, with special emphasis on policy analysis, and technical and economic viability.

Keith Curtis is currently the Advisor and Director of Business Liaison in the Office of the U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank Group. He has responsibility for private sector engagement in the 5 World Bank institutions which commit over $60 billion/year over some 7,000 projects. Keith also covers the Inter-American Development Bank for the Department of Commerce.

DGM SS RNP February 3 1025

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