New Strategic Partnership with Thunderbird School of Global Management

August 25, 2016

Yuki Fujiyama, a trade finance specialist in the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries and the author of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters, currently serves as the Global Finance Team Leader.  Kristian Richardson, the Executive Secretary of the Arizona District Export Council, currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona.

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The International Trade Administration (ITA), the U.S. government’s lead export promotion agency, and Thunderbird School of Global Management, one of the world’s top-ranked international business schools and a unit of Arizona State University, recently signed a strategic partnership agreement to support U.S. exports and international trade through a unique collaboration in global business education, especially in the area of finance.


Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for U.S. Operations Antwaun Griffin (front right) and Thunderbird CEO and Director General Allen Morrison (front left) sign a strategic partnership agreement.

This agreement was made possible through ITA’s Strategic Partnership Program, which enables and enhances mutually beneficial collaboration between ITA and a partner organization in support of the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

Founded in 1946 in Glendale, Arizona, Thunderbird is the oldest and largest graduate school for international business in the United States.  Thunderbird is consistently ranked among the best in the world in international business education and among the top 20 worldwide in executive education.


The main entrance at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona

This agreement will help advance ITA’s strategic priorities while supporting Thunderbird’s global business education programs. For example, under this agreement, both Thunderbird and ITA will work together to encourage more U.S. exporters to take courses in global finance, international credit, and trade finance in the school’s Executive Education programs. Such an effort will help expand access to finance for U.S. exporters, one of the Administration’s strategic priorities under the National Export Initiative/NEXT.  In addition, Thunderbird will help support ITA employees’ professional development needs, which will enhance the agency’s ability to assist the U.S. business community in reaching global markets.

In return, this agreement will make it easier for Thunderbird to utilize resources available through a network of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service trade specialists and commercial diplomats located in over 75 countries and 100 U.S. locations for academic and research activities.  For example, under this agreement, ITA will help recruit guest speakers for Thunderbird’s Executive Education programs from its internal talent pool as well as experts from other U.S. government trade promotion agencies and private-sector strategic partner organizations.

“Nothing pleases us more than the opportunity to develop a partnership with business and government clients who can benefit from Thunderbird’s extensive experience in management and global leadership education,” said Dr. Allen Morrison, CEO and Director General of Thunderbird School of Global Management. “Our mission is to help working professionals and those in search of higher education opportunities develop the skills they need to be more successful in their careers and in advancing the organizations for whom they work.”

“Many U.S. businesses, particularly small and medium-sized firms, have yet to export because they often believe exporting to be too burdensome or may not be fully unaware of export services from the federal government and its partners. By focusing on global business education, this partnership represents another step in helping U.S. businesses pursue opportunities with the 95 percent of world consumers who live outside of the United States,” said Antwaun Griffin, U.S. Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations.  “In addition, I am particularly pleased that this agreement will help support cross-training on programs and activities for ITA and Thunderbird employees.”


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