Francisco J. Sánchez was appointed by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United State Senate to serve as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce. As Under Secretary, Sánchez leads the International Trade Administration which assists in the development of U.S. trade policy in the global economy; creates jobs and economic growth by promoting U.S. companies; strengthens American competitiveness across all industries; addresses market access and compliance issues; administers U.S. trade laws; and undertakes a range of trade promotion and trade advocacy efforts.
As a senior policy advisor to President Obama during the 2008 campaign, Sánchez served as the Chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Council and also provided policy support on issues pertaining to Latin America. Sánchez now brings his wide range of experience in both federal and state government as well as in the private sector to his leadership position at ITA.
Sánchez served as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Clinton administration, where he developed aviation policy and oversaw international negotiations. Sánchez had previously served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas, Kenneth MacKay, where he focused on economic integration and democracy issues throughout the Western Hemisphere. He began his career in government working as Director of Florida’s Caribbean Basin Initiative Program for then-Governor Bob Graham.
In addition to his public service, Sánchez spent more than 15 years working with several leading consulting companies on projects involving negotiation strategy, alliance management, labor-management negotiations, litigation settlement, facilitation, and training, most recently as a partner with CMPartners. Among his private-sector achievements, Sánchez directed a team in Medellín, Colombia, as part of the “Teaching Tolerance” program, an initiative designed to break the cycle of violence then threatening the country. Sánchez also served as a consultant to the President of Ecuador in negotiations that led to the resolution of a long-running border dispute with Peru. He began his career in complex negotiations as an attorney, specializing in corporate and administrative law at Steel, Hector, and Davis in Miami, Florida.
Sánchez was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and also one of the top Hispanics nationwide by Poder Magazine. Sánchez is on the board of directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He has been awarded the National Point of Light Award and the Governor’s Point of Light Award for Outstanding Community Service. In 2010, he was named to the National Hall of Fame for the Boys and Girls Club of America.
A native of Florida, Sánchez obtained his B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University. He also received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Sánchez has published articles and taught negotiation and conflict resolution at the Program of Instruction at Harvard Law School as well as other institutions.