On February 9, 2022, the U.S. Senate confirmed Reta Jo Lewis as EXIM’s President and Chair of the Board of Directors. Chair Lewis was sworn in by Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris on February 16, 2022. Ms. Lewis is a senior executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in international affairs, legal, public policy, business and regulatory affairs, and subnational diplomacy.
Ms. Lewis was most recently a Senior Fellow and Director of Congressional Affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. At GMF, Ms. Lewis led and oversaw initiatives, programs, and bipartisan exchanges for members of the U.S. Congress and their European counterparts, focusing on leadership development and subnational diplomacy efforts.
Prior to her time at GMF, she served as the first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs under Secretary Hillary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State during the Obama-Biden Administration. As Special Representative, Lewis was the chief diplomat in charge of the international efforts to build and support strategic relationships between the federal government, state and local leaders, and their foreign counterparts.
In 2013, she was awarded the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award.Ms. Lewis was the first Black woman to serve as Vice President and Counselor to the President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She led the Chamber’s initiatives focused on fostering strategic alliances between small businesses, especially women- and minority-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives.
She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Member of the Board of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security. Ms. Lewis received a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, an M.S.A.J. from American University, and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. She is a native of Statesboro, Georgia.