Reta Jo Lewis’ nomination to the controversial agency comes two years after Congress reauthorized the export credit agency after leaving it moribund from 2015 to 2019 and unable to grant financial commitments for more than $10 million.
The Biden administration has put forth Reta Jo Lewis to be president and chair of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) for a four-year term to end on January 20, 2025. If she receives Senate approval, she will fill the role of Trump administration appointee Kimberly A. Reed, whose term expired in January this year.
Since 2016, Lewis has been a senior fellow and director of Congressional affairs at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). This 49-year-old nonpartisan policy organization focuses on issues critical to transatlantic interests.
“Reta Jo has demonstrated exemplary leadership at GMF, not just in engaging Congress on transatlantic issues but in many other important ways as well,” said Ian Lesser, acting president at the GMF, upon hearing of Lewis’ nomination. “From advancing policy thinking on subnational diplomacy to bringing diverse voices into the transatlantic conversation, Reta Jo has had a profound impact on GMF’s community on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Before her tenure at the GMF, Lewis served as the US Department of State’s first special representative for global intergovernmental affairs from 2010 to 2013. While there, she built peer-to-peer relationships between the State Department, state and local officials, and their foreign counterparts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from American University and a law degree from Emory University School of Law.
Lewis’ nomination to the controversial agency comes two years after Congress reauthorized the export credit agency after leaving it moribund from 2015 to 2019 and unable to grant financial commitments for more than $10 million. Founded on February 2, 1934, EXIM’s mandate is to help small and medium-size enterprises sell goods abroad. However, it has developed a reputation for “crony capitalism,” as much of its aid has gone to large corporations like Boeing, which received 34% of all EXIM aid between 2007 and 2017.