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Picture of Josette SheeranBIOGRAPHY

Josette Sheeran
Under Secretary, Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs
Term of Appointment: 08/23/2005 to 04/04/2007

Ambassador Josette Sheeran served as Under Secretary for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs. She was responsible for spearheading the Administration’s economic diplomacy efforts and advancing the interests of American businesses, farmers and workers at home and abroad through global policies spanning trade, investment, finance, development, energy, telecommunications and transportation.

Under Secretary Sheeran served as the Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa for the President’s G-8 Summit and heads a host of high-level bilateral or multilateral economic dialogues with the European Union China, India, Japan, Iraq , Afghanistan, and many others. Secretary Rice had designated Under Secretary Sheeran to lead new State Department's initiatives in supporting Central Asia’s and Afghanistan's economic transformation and reconstruction. She has been named by UN Secretary General Annan along with Prime Ministers Luisa Dias Diogo, Prime Minister of Mozambique; Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway; and Shaukat Aziz, Prime Minister of Pakistan to the High Level Panel on System-Wide Coherence. The panel is developing strategies and recommendations for greater management coherence and effectiveness in UN efforts in the areas of the environment, development and humanitarian assistance.

She represented the United States at a wide variety of high-level bilateral and multilateral meetings including serving as Alternative Governor for the World Bank; the Inter-American Development Bank; the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Congress also confirms her as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Prior to her appointment, Under Secretary Sheeran served as Deputy United States Trade Representative in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). There, she was responsible for trade negotiations and treaties in Asia and Africa, driving U.S. efforts to open new markets and enforce existing trade agreements in China, East Asia, South Asia and Africa and for advancing global negotiations on counterfeiting, pharmaceuticals, labor, environment and trade capacity building. One of her legacy projects was fighting global counterfeiting, creating STOP – Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy’ and the protection of Intellectual Property. She helped bring to a successful conclusion the landmark U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is expected to increase U.S. exports to Australia by $2 billion a year. She also led trade enforcement negotiations with China and furthered U.S. trade and investment interests in direct talks with Japan, Korea, India and many other nations.

Before joining USTR, Under Secretary Sheeran was managing director of Starpoint Solutions, a leading Wall Street technology firm that works with Fortune 500 clients. During her tenure at Starpoint she led major strategic projects with corporate leaders such as Bank of America, Citibank and the Associated Press. Under Secretary Sheeran also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Empower America, where she developed its agenda of trade policy, technology policy, education reform and tax reform.

Under Secretary Sheeran has a distinguished background in media. During her tenure as managing editor of the Washington Times, she was a regular commentator on programs such as Nightline, Fox news, the McLaughlin Group, the Diane Rehm Show, CNN and others. Under Secretary Sheeran also wrote a nationally syndicated column for Scripps Howard News Service on a wide range of issues including foreign and national policy issues. Her extensive network of contacts and reputation for fairness and accuracy helped her land interviews with more than a dozen heads of state in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the United States. She has twice served as a Pulitzer prize juror, including for foreign reporting.

Under Secretary Sheeran has been a member of the Council for Foreign Relations for more than a decade and has served on its Washington advisory board. In 1997, Washingtonian magazine named Ms. Sheeran as one of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women. She has served on a number of boards, including the Washington Urban League and the United Negro College Fund's Washington advisory board. She has received numerous awards, including the Press Award for Journalistic Achievement by the National Order of Women Legislators and a national award for developing and promoting African-American journalists. President George Bush appointed Ms. Sheeran to the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status.



Released on August 23, 2005

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