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Dr. Kati Suominen

Kati Suominen is the Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group, a data and analytics company that helps governments, multilateral development banks, and Fortune 500s to enable trade and economic growth through technology.
Summary

Dr. Kati Suominen is a renowned business and policy entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Political Economy and International Affairs from UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, and an MBA from The Wharton School. 

She is the Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group, a Los Angeles-based company that helps multilateral development banks, governments, and Fortune 500 technology firms to enable world trade through technology. Nextrade Group is known for shaping the field of trade and development by implementing data-driven strategies, PPPs, proofs of concepts, and pilots to digitise and drive world trade. They use AI-driven and geospatial approaches in their analytical work.

Nextrade Group has worked with over 50 clients, including major companies such as MasterCard, Visa, eBay, Google, AWS, PayPal, TradeKey, IBM, FedEx, Magento, and several development banks such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, etc. Dr. Kati has ideated and architected many data-driven analytical products and organisational strategies for her clients. She has developed pilots with corporate partners to solve key pain points in trade logistics, finance, and ecommerce development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Dr. Kati is the author and editor of ten books on trade and economics, and her latest book is ‘Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunities for All’, published by Stanford University Press in 2019. She has published over 120 articles and reports on trade, technology, and globalisation, which have been featured in leading academic presses, including Stanford, Oxford, Yale, and Cambridge, and other publications including Ashgate, IABD, and Edward Elgar.

Dr. Kati has spoken at various events such as the World Trade Symposium, Davos, WTO, Global Trade Review, ICC Banking Commission, IMF, and World Bank. She has commented in leading media publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, Time, USA Today, and LA Times.

Dr. Kati has also ideated and built several global initiatives and public-private partnerships to further ecommerce development and digitization of world trade. These initiatives and partnerships include eTrade for All, Alliance for eTrade Development I and II, Digital Standards for Trade, and the Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance. She serves as the Technical Director of the Alliance for eTrade Development, which is a partnership between 17 global companies and USAID to accelerate ecommerce development. 

Dr. Kati is an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she founded the Digital Trade program and an Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Anderson School, where she teaches MBA courses on international business economics and the economics of global digital disruption.

Biography

In 1996, Kati began her career as an Assistant to the President at the Inter-American Dialogue, Washington's premier policy center on Western Hemisphere affairs. There she managed the President's agenda and communications across the Washington policy community, board, partners, media, and funders. She also managed conferences and seminar series with Western Hemisphere leaders and led economic policy initiatives with senior staff while authoring articles on Hemispheric trade policy issues.

In 1999, Kati started researching at the Institute for European-Latin American Relations in Madrid, where she led analysis on North and Central American economic policy issues aimed at senior European foreign policymakers. She also authored analyses on trade and economics in the Americas to Oxford Analytica Executive Briefs read by thousands of CEOs and managed media relations, including providing frequent commentary on Latin American economic affairs.

Between September 2000 and August 2003, Kati served as a PhD student researcher and economics consultant at the University of California San Diego. She consulted on trade and international economics to the Inter-American Development Bank, Addison-Wesley, Tokyo University, and served as a research and teaching assistant on Masters' level courses in international trade and economics.

Dr. Kati then worked as an International Trade Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank from 2003 to May 2010. There, she advised senior economic policymakers worldwide on trade and investment policy strategies and managed the Bank's global and Asia-Pacific trade policy research. She led multiple globally dispersed teams and coordinated partnerships with the WTO, Asian Development Bank Institute, United Nations, and leading universities and think tanks. Dr. Kati also led and worked in inter-departmental teams in developing lending strategies and originating and negotiating loans and grants for trade and competitiveness across the Americas. From 2006 to 2009, she served as a technical advisor to the Senior Officials of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) on ways to advance toward region-wide free trade area.

Between May 2010 and November 2012, Dr. Kati was a Resident Fellow in U.S. & Global Economics at the German Marshall Fund, a leading Washington think-tank. There she worked on global economic policy issues, including authoring articles and books, and chairing and speaking in economic forums around the world. She also led the launch of the GMF's "G20 in the Global Economy" program, building a prestigious advisory board and a thriving event series.

Dr. Kati then founded TradeUp Capital Fund in February 2014, a growth capital platform for globalizing companies to seek equity investments from institutional and individual accredited investors. She served as Founder until December 2016.

From June 2016 to December 2017, Dr. Kati worked as a senior advisor at the World SME Forum, a private sector-led initiative that supports SME development worldwide, by providing representation in international bodies and facilitating access to finance, access to global value chains, and markets.

Dr. Kati was a member of the Board of Directors at the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade in Tucson, AZ, from April 2015 to December 2018.

Dr. Kati founded the Palladium Group in 2013, a global advisory and management firm that aims to create positive social and economic impact. Dr. Kati has led Palladium's work on digital trade, helping governments and businesses leverage digital technologies to expand their exports and create jobs. She has also authored several reports and articles on trade and economic issues, including a book on digital trade and investment in emerging markets. Her work at Palladium contributed to the firm's efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development around the world.

Published Work

Dr. Kati Suomenin's published work revolves around international trade agreements, globalisation, and regional trade integration. Her research examines the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving global trade landscape and provides policy recommendations for promoting economic growth and development.
In her book "Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunity for All," published by Stanford University Press, Dr. Suomenin uses empirical evidence and policy experiences to analyze the clash between emerging possibilities in world trade and outdated policies and institutions. She offers policy recommendations for navigating these obstacles to catalyze growth and development globally.
Dr. Suomenin's work also focuses on promoting the internationalisation of small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her report "Going Global: Promoting the Internationalization of Small and Mid-Size Enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean," published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), provides practical recommendations for policymakers, companies, and practitioners on how to reduce barriers to SMEs' internationalization and leverage global value chains, the LAC diaspora in the United States, and e-commerce for SME growth.
Her research also delves into the economics of free trade, regional trade agreements (RTAs), and rules of origin (RoO). She has authored or co-authored books such as "Economics of Free Trade," "Bridging Regional Trade Agreements in the Americas," "Regional Rules in the Global Trading System," and "Gatekeepers of Global Commerce: Rules of Origin and International Economic Integration." These publications analyze the drivers and constraints of world trade, propose ways to reduce divisions among RTAs, and assess the effects of RoO in the global economy.
Dr. Suomenin's work also highlights the importance of governance and monitoring in regional trade integration. Her book "Governing Regional Integration for Development," published by Ashgate, examines the quality and effectiveness of monitoring in developing country RTAs worldwide and provides valuable lessons for assessing monitoring practices.


Vision

Dr. Kati Suominen is a visionary leader in the field of trade and development, with a mission to revolutionize world trade through the power of technology. She is a renowned business and policy entrepreneur, known for her innovative and data-driven strategies to enable world trade.

Her vision is to create a world where all nations have access to the benefits of trade, powered by the latest technologies. She believes that by leveraging data, AI, and technology, we can remove barriers to trade and create a more prosperous and interconnected world. Dr. Kati's work is focused on implementing data-driven strategies, PPPs, proofs of concepts, and pilots to digitise and drive world trade. She has ideated and architected many data-driven analytical products and organisational strategies for her clients and has developed pilots with corporate partners to solve key pain points in trade logistics, finance, and ecommerce development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

She aims to continue to drive innovation and digital transformation in the field of trade and development, working with clients and partners around the world to create a more connected and prosperous global economy.


Recognition and Awards
Dr. Kati Suominen is a renowned economist, advisor, and author who has made significant contributions to international trade and economic policy. Dr. Suominen's most significant achievements include founding the Palladium Group, a global advisory and management firm, where she led the firm's work on digital trade, helping governments and businesses leverage digital technologies to expand their exports and create jobs. She authored several reports and articles on trade and economic issues, including a book on digital trade and investment in emerging markets. Her work at Palladium contributed to the firm's efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development around the world. She also founded TradeUp Capital Fund, a growth capital platform for globalizing companies to seek equity investments from institutional and individual accredited investors. Dr. Suominen's published work revolves around international trade agreements, globalization, and regional trade integration. Her research examines the challenges and opportunities presented by the evolving global trade landscape and provides policy recommendations for promoting economic growth and development. Her book "Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunity for All" offers policy recommendations for navigating obstacles to catalyze growth and development globally. Her report "Going Global: Promoting the Internationalization of Small and Mid-Size Enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean," published by the Inter-American Development Bank, provides practical recommendations for policymakers, companies, and practitioners on how to reduce barriers to SMEs' internationalization and leverage global value chains, the LAC diaspora in the United States, and e-commerce for SME growth.

References
Dr. Kati Suominen
Residence
US
Occupation
Entrepreneur, economist, advisor, university faculty, author, board member
Education
BA (Double Majors: Political Science, International Relations, University of Arkansas at Little Rock), MA (International Relations, Boston University), PhD (Joint PhD, Political Economy and International Affairs, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy), MBA (The Wharton School)
Social Media
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