Michael Froman

President, Council on Foreign Relations; Former United States Trade Representative
Michael Froman
  • As Council on Foreign Relations president, leads the development of solutions to increasingly complex issues in international relations, foreign policy, and trade
  • Served as President Obama’s principal advisor and spokesperson on international trade
  • Breaks down the impact of the New Administration’s trade initiatives on business
  • Expertly addresses how US policy effects international trade and the economies of Europe, China, and Asia

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Ambassador Michael Froman is the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, dedicated to elevating Americans’ participation in matters related to trade and foreign policy decisions. He formerly served as the 17th United States Trade Representative, sworn in under President Obama in 2013. In this capacity, he served in the Cabinet as President Obama’s principal advisor, negotiator, and spokesperson on international trade and investment issues. He also led the Office of the United States Trade Representative in its work to open global markets for U.S. goods and services, enforcing America’s rights in the global trading system and fostering development through trade.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Ambassador Froman discusses America’s role in the global trading system and global economy and the linkages between U.S. economic and strategic interests. He evaluates the importance of raising labor and environmental standards, establishing disciplines on currency and state-owned enterprise policies, and defining rules for the digital economy, data flows and the maintenance of an open and free Internet. He is well positioned to discuss the evolution of international economic policy coming out of Washington and its effect on business interests domestically and around the world.

Key initiatives undertaken at the Office of the United States Trade Representative under Ambassador Froman’s leadership included negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in the Asia Pacific, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union, negotiation of agreements on services, information technology and trade facilitation at the World Trade Organization, and monitoring and enforcing U.S. trade rights, including through the Interagency Trade and Enforcement Center (ITEC). He expertly addresses how policies affect not only American interests but also the economic futures of Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and China and Japan, in particular.

Before his appointment as Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman served in the White House as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, where he was responsible for coordinating policy on international trade and finance, energy security and climate change, and development and democracy issues. He served as the U.S. Sherpa for the G20 and G8 Summits, and staffed the President for the APEC Leaders Meetings. He chaired or co-chaired the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum and the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum. He formerly held a number of high-level roles at Citigroup and is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

From 2001 until 2009, Ambassador Froman managed various businesses at Citigroup, as CEO of its international insurance business, COO of Alternative Investments and head of its infrastructure investment fund. He spent seven years in the U.S. Government under President Clinton serving as Chief of Staff and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East at the U.S. Department of Treasury. He was also Director for International Economic Affairs at the National Security Council and National Economic Council. In 2018, he was hired by MasterCard as vice chairman and president of strategic growth, focusing on developing solutions for governments and other enterprises, launching new businesses, and driving financial inclusion and inclusive growth efforts.

Ambassador Froman received a bachelor’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University and law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.


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America’s New Role in the Global Economy. Amid an increasingly unstable trade environment, Ambassador Michael Froman breaks down America’s current and future potential roles in the Asia-Pacific Region as well as with Europe and our North American neighbors. Formerly President Obama’s chief negotiator, spokesman, and advisor on international trade and investment, Ambassador Froman understands the ways in which American policy impact our relationships with partners and competitors alike and packages these insights in concise, easy-to-understand presentations full of meaningful takeaways.

What the Current Administration’s Stance on Trade Will Mean for Business. Discover the impact an evolving perspective on trade – plus possible changes to international tax policy – could play in U.S. international economic policy and what they mean for your organization. With a detailed understanding of the minutia that goes into trade policy, Froman explains what government policy is really aimed at achieving plus the effects they have on your specific organization’s business interests domestically and globally.

American Leadership and the Strategic Implications of Trade. Get an understanding of the relationship between international economic policy and U.S. foreign and national security policy, the strategic implications of trade and the evolution of America’s global leadership.  Sitting at the nexus of international economic and national security policymaking, Froman shares a perspective on how decisions about trade and international economic issues have broader ramifications for Americas’s broader global interests.

Populism, Protectionism, and the Future of the International Order. Explore the rise of populism internationally, the advent of economic nationalism in the United Stated and what they mean for the open, rules-based international system of the last 70 years.  Having fought against protectionist policies of other countries, Froman discusses what the spread of such policies could mean for businesses, domestic and foreign.

The Future of U.S.-China/U.S.-Europe/U.S.-Asia Pacific Relations. Discuss the changing landscape of the United States’ key economic and strategic relationships around the world, from China and Europe to the future of the rebalance toward Asia.  Froman explores key drivers of these relationships, internal and external, and what it means for companies doing business in these markets.

Europe, the UK, Brexit and the Future of the Transatlantic Relationship. Explore how the dynamic between the UK and Europe as they manage Brexit affects transatlantic relations.  Froman discusses the complexities of those negotiations and what different possible outcomes could mean for the future of U.S.-UK and U.S.-EU trade ties.


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