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Women’s History Month March 2021 Before Our Eyes: Two Women, Two Milestones



“The ability to change things is a powerful incentive.”

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization


“I know that the challenges ahead are significant.”

Katherine Tai, 19th United States Trade Representative, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary


Wanting to change things in the challenges ahead is a thought all of us probably have multiple times each day; having the power to change things is a gift and a duty to exercise responsibly. 2021 is a year of exceptional changes and challenges with most being beyond our control.


One significant change is this year starts with two women of color “breaking the glass ceiling” and occupying two of the most powerful trade policy positions in the world. Ms. Okonjo-Iweala, from Nigeria, was approved as the new Director-General of the WTO leading the pre-eminent international trade body of more than 160 countries. Last week, Katherine Tai was confirmed as the 19th United States Trade Representative leading the trade policy and enforcement efforts of the largest national economy in the world.


From Geneva to Washington, D.C. and capitals beyond, these two women are the newest trade leaders and have exceptional talents, skills, deep experience, and grit for moving the global dialogue forward on needed reform at the WTO to enable it to re-examine and revise trade rules to reflect the economies of today with the shared goals of the past, creating a trading order that serves workers, consumers, and traders, and rebuild trust and confidence in the fairness of trade.


“Both are to be congratulated; both are to be supported in their efforts; and both truly have the ability to change things and clearly the incentive,” said Robert M. Tobiassen, NABI President adding “they will successfully balance the fears of the failure of global trade with the hopes that global trade brings to everyone. We look forward to their great accomplishments”


For more information, please contact NABI at (202) 393-6224 or