Donnelly Co-authors Report on “Commercial Diplomacy”

Shaun Donnelly

USCIB Vice President Shaun Donnelly has recently co-authored a new report on commercial diplomacy under the auspices of the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD), a prestigious group of leading former senior U.S. government diplomats.  Donnelly, like former USCIB President and current USCIB Board Vice Chair Tom Niles, was elected to AAD membership after retiring from a long career as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State.

Over the past two years, Donnelly has co-led, along with retired Ambassador and former Acting Director General of the Foreign Commercial Service Chuck Ford, AAD work on two reports covering U.S. government support (focused on Department of Commerce, Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates abroad) to assist U.S. business win sales, contracts, investment opportunities and other deals against increasingly strong foreign competition, often benefiting from much more effective advocacy and support programs from competitor governments.

The original report Support for American Jobs, Part I from March 2016 has now been supplemented with Part II from June 2017, which goes into further detail, at the request of the Commerce and State Departments, on three specific issues, including a detailed analysis of the commercial diplomacy programs of leading competitor governments.

“The “Executive Report” cover document addressed to leaders in the Trump administration paints a clear picture of foreign governments stepping up their games in support of their own companies, large and small, and suggests ways the new administration might be able to launch a major commercial diplomacy initiative do the same to help U.S. companies win on increasingly competitive international battlefields,” said Donnelly.

Donnelly and his AAD colleagues will be meeting with administration and congressional leaders over the coming weeks, seeking increased awareness of and action on the issue.  One of the potential merits of the nexus of commercial diplomacy issues is that it avoids some of the contentious atmosphere that surrounds U.S. trade policy debates (e.g. NAFTA, Trans Pacific Partnership, steel, World Trade Organization, etc.) and simply focuses on how the U.S. government might be better able to help our companies (and thereby our workers, shareholders and communities) win contracts, sales and deals and whatever trade policies the U.S. government is pursuing.

If you or colleagues at your organization have questions or would like to discuss the reports or commercial diplomacy in general, or if you’d like to help move these issues forward, feel free to contact Donnelly at

Staff Contact:   Alice Slayton Clark

VP, International Investment and Trade Policy
Tel: 202.682.0051

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