Paul J. Thanos is the director for finance and insurance industries at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. He is responsible for developing and executing policy, analysis and promotion initiatives pertaining to finance and insurance industries, trade and project finance, financial technology, impact investing and access to finance. His program of work includes expansion of finance and insurance exports, attracting foreign direct investment to the U.S., and developing cooperative programs with international partners. His team has direct participation in bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such as the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trade and Investment in Services Agreement (TiSA). He leads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee and is directly engaged in a series of international insurance and reinsurance market access issues in China, India, Indonesia and Latin America. In September 2016, he will launch a new Trade Finance Advisory Committee that will make recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce as to how business and government can work together to expand access to private sources of trade finance. His team closely collaborates with several USG agencies and organizations, including the Department of Treasury, USTR, Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Federal Reserve. He is a regular guest lecturer at the George Washington University business and public policy schools on topics ranging from trade policy, impact investing and stakeholder capitalism.
Prior to taking this position at the International Trade Administration, Paul served as a legislative aide to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with responsibility for trade, foreign policy, and defense issues. Paul also has 10 years of experience covering Middle East issues and previously served as deputy director for the Commerce Department’s Office of the Middle East. He worked directly on the Middle East peace process in the 1990s and has traveled throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. Paul received a Masters of Public Administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs and a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.