E15 Experts are leading thinkers and practitioners from developed and developing countries reflecting a wide range of perspectives on trade and sustainable development. The experts’ participation in any E15 activity is on a personal basis and does not represent an official commitment of the organisations they are affiliated with.
Ambassador Rufus Yerxa is President of the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), a trade association of over 200 companies dedicated to improving the competitiveness of U.S. industry on world markets. Mr. Yerxa has more than three decades of experience as a lawyer, diplomat, U.S. trade negotiator and international official. As Deputy Director General of the WTO from 2002 to 2013 he helped to broaden its membership and strengthen its role as the principal rules-based institution governing world trade. From 1989 to 1995, he served as Deputy USTR under both a Republican and a Democratic President, first as the Geneva-based Ambassador to the GATT and subsequently as the Washington Deputy. Earlier in his government career, he served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Trade for the Committee on Ways and Means of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to joining the WTO, he spent five years in the private sector, first as the Brussels-based partner with a major U.S. law firm and later as European general counsel for a Fortune 500 company. Mr. Yerxa received his BA from the University of Washington, his JD from Seattle University School of Law and an LLB in international Law from the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and a Visiting Professor with the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS).