João Vale de Almeida

Vale de Almeida, JoaoAmbassador of the European Union to the United States of America

Ambassador João Vale de Almeida is the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. He presented his credentials to President Obama on August 10, 2010.

Prior to his appointment in Washington as the European Union’s Ambassador, he served as the Director General for External Relations at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body. As the most senior official under the authority of the High Representative/Vice-President Baroness Ashton, he helped formulate and execute the EU’s foreign policy and played a key role in preparing for the new European External Action Service (EEAS) introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon.

From 2004 to 2009 Amb. Vale de Almeida was the Head of Cabinet (Chief of staff and main adviser) for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. He accompanied President Barroso in all European Council (EU Summit) meetings and ensured coordination with the private offices of Heads of State and Governments in all 28 Member States of the EU. Amb. Vale de Almeida was also the President’s Personal Representative for the negotiations on the Treaty of Lisbon.

He also acted as the EU “Sherpa” for G8 and G20 Summits. In this capacity he attended annual G8 Summits inGleneagles, UK; St Petersburg, RU; Heiligendamm, DE; Toyako-Hokkaido, JP; L’Aquila, IT; and Muskoka, CA between 2005 and 2010. He accompanied President Barroso in the launching of G20 Summits in late 2008 in Washington and in subsequent meetings in London, Pittsburgh and Toronto in 2009 and 2010. He also attendedSummit meetings with EU’s strategic partners around the world.

Earlier in his career in the European institutions, Amb. Vale de Almeida held several senior positions in the European Commission and the Economic and Social Committee and worked closely in different capacities with and under the authority of former Commission Presidents Jacques Delors, Jacques Santer and Romano Prodi.

Immediately before joining President Barroso’s team in 2004, Amb. Vale de Almeida held a senior position in the Directorate General for Education and Culture after serving as Deputy Chief Spokesman of the European Commission.

Amb. Vale de Almeida joined the European Commission in 1982 at its Delegation in Lisbon, after spending seven years as a journalist. He holds a degree in History from the University of Lisbon and has studied and received training in journalism and management in the United States, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Amb. Vale de Almeida was decorated by the President of the Republic of Portugal with the ‘Grã-Cruz da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique’ (Grand Cross of the Order of the Infante D. Henrique) in 2011.

Amb. Vale de Almeida is Portuguese, born in Lisbon in 1957. He is married and has two children.

Jacob Bergareche

Bergareche, Jacobo
CEO Wake App

Jacobo Bergareche, is currently the CEO of Wake App. A company which started in 2011, an interactive contents studio, with which he has created and launched internationally awarded apps (2013 SXSW Interactive Award Finalist, Billboard Conference Panelist, Vodafone Foundation Mobile for Good awards).

Previously he worked as creator, writer and executive producer for several prime time shows in Spain’s major networks. Jacobo Bergareche is also a founding partner of, the first app discovery search engine in the Spanish speaking world, and board member of the Fundación Roque Bergareche Mendoza, a foundation in Spain that awards grants, mentors tech start-ups and reviews 300 projects per year.

Phillippe Bouyoux

Bouyoux, Philippe
Philippe Bouyoux is currently Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the French Embassy in Washington DC; he was appointed on October 7, 2013. Prior to that, he was Deputy to the General Commissioner for Investment at the department of the Prime Minister from March 2012 to October 2013 and Counselor from March 2010 to February 2012.

Prior to this appointment, he was in charge of the special report on Strategic priorities for investment with the Commission chaired by Mr. Juppé and Mr. Rocard, former Prime Ministers. From September 2005 to June 2009, he was Director in charge of Economic Policy at the Department of Treasury and Economic Policy, Ministry of Economy and Finance. Previously, he was posted in Singapore as Head of the Economic Department for ASEAN at the Embassy of France. From 2002 to 2004, he served as Counselor for macro economy and public finances on the staff of the Minister of Economy and Finance. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Bouyoux was Head of the Financial and Economic Department at the Embassy of France in Brazil. In 1997-1999, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge of macroeconomic and financial policy; and before that, he served as Technical Counselor on the staff of the Prime Minister. He served also as Director of the National School for Economics and Statistics (ENSAE) in 1996. He worked previously at the European Commission as Counselor to the Director General for Economic and Financial Affairs (1992-1995). He started his career at the National Institute for Statistic and Economic Studies (INSEE) and was in charge of the quarterly national accounts (1982-1988), then at the Economic Forecast Department (1988-1992) of the Ministry for Economy and Finance.

Mr. Bouyoux was born in 1957. He is an Economist and Inspector General of Finance. He is graduated of the National School for Economics and Statistics (ENSAE), and has a Master’s degree. He is married and the father of two children.

Mario Buisán

Mario Buisan

Mario Buisán is the Trade Commissioner of the Embassy of Spain in Miami, Florida. He is responsible for commercial promotion of Spanish goods into the US market, and strengthening business relations and Spanish investments in this area. From 2004 to 2009, he was Director General of Information and Investments at the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX). Prior to this, he was Deputy Director General of International Affairs at Banco de España. He also worked at the MIGA Agency of World Bank. He was a former Trade Commissioner of Spain in Düsseldorf, Germany and has occupied several positions in the Ministry of Economics and Finance.

Mr. Buisán was an Associate Professor of Applied Economics at Carlos III University in Madrid and a Professor at the Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública and at the Centro de Estudios Comerciales. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of: Compañía Española de Financiación del Desarrollo, S.A. (COFIDES); Sociedad Estatal Española P4R, S.A. (company specializing in foreign trade); and, SAECA (business based on the issuance of bank guarantees for investments in the agricultural sector). Mr. Buisán holds a double Major in Economic and Business Sciences, and a Law Degree. He is a member of the State Economists and Trade Exports Body of the Spanish Government. He often lectures in several forums about the globalization of the Spanish economy and businesses. He has written several articles on business and economic globalization; financial, commercial and European Union interests.

James Clad

JamesClad (1)
James Clad consults for energy and investment firms, and is senior adviser at the Center for Naval Analyses and at Jane’s Defence and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). During 2002-10, he served as US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia, and as senior counselor at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Agency for International Development. From 1995-2002 he held a Georgetown University Luce foundation professorship and was, concurrently, Director/Asia-Pacific Energy at CERA.

Trained as a New Zealand lawyer, his career has focused on Asian commercial and security affairs broadening after 2002 to include the Middle East. In the 1980s-90s, he wrote for the Far Eastern Economic Review, and had fellowships from St. Antony’s College, Oxford, from the Carnegie Endowment, and from Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. He also served in the New Zealand diplomatic service.

His first book, Business, Money & Power in Southeast Asia (1991), surveyed Asian capitalism while his next, After the Crusade (1996), critiqued US foreign policy. His most recent book is a volume on political geography, The Borderlands of Southeast Asia. He received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award in 2009 and, in June 2011, became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, a royal honor. He is married to Aurora Medina, a World Bank official, and has three children.

Adriana Cruz

Cruz, Adriana
Adriana Cruz

Vice President Global Expansion & Recruitment
Austin Chamber of Commerce

Adriana Cruz is the Vice President of Global Corporate Recruitment for the Austin Chamber of Commerce, representing a five county region with a population of 1.7 million. Cruz has over 20 years of strategic marketing and account management experience with 14 years specializing in economic development marketing.
Her current responsibilities include promoting the Austin region around the globe to recruit and attract companies for relocation or expansion. Her industry focus includes corporate and regional headquarters and convergent technologies including software, semiconductor, and nanotechnology. She has assisted globally recognized companies in their relocation or expansion to Austin including Hanger Orthopedic, LegalZoom, Facebook, and eBay.
Since 2007 she has overseen the Chamber’s international program, including hosting over 90 international business delegations and dignitaries representing more than 30 countries.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Mrs. Cruz worked as an economic development consultant where she prepared economic development marketing strategies for communities across the country. Adriana also served as Director of Marketing in Governor Rick Perry’s Economic Development and Tourism Office, where she oversaw the state’s economic development marketing initiatives including the development of the “Texas Wide Open for Business” brand campaign, and the TexasOne marketing program.
Adriana received her B.B.A in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is President of the Foreign Trade Zone Corporation of Central Texas, a Board member of EDCO Ventures, and a member of the Texas Economic Development Council.

Katalin Csorba

KatalinEDUCATION                                                                    Master of International Relations, 2004, CCNY, City University of New York, USA
Bachelor of Business Administration, 1991, College of International Trade, Budapest Business School, Hungary
Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature, 1986, College of Education, University of Szeged, Hungary
Bachelor of Arts in English and Hungarian Language and Literature, College of Education, University of  Pecs, Hungary


Leadership program on Japan, 2008, Scholarship of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
Studies in Trade and Investment Diplomacy, 1998, University of Oxford, University of Birmingham, British Know How Fund, Hungary
Foreign Investment Promotion Studies, 1998, Scholarship of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
Japanese Foreign Trade Promotion Program, 1997, University of Kobe, Scholarship of the Government of Japan, Japan
English Language and Literature Program, 1990, Scholarship from the British Council, United Kingdom


2011-Present   First Counselor, Head of the Hungarian Economic Representatives in the U.S., Embassy of Hungary, Washington, DC,                                            Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2005-2011        Director, Bilateral economic relations with BRIC and overseas developed countries, Ministry for National Economy, Hungary
2004-2005       Trade Commissioner, Hungarian Trade Commission, Chicago, USA
1999-2003        Deputy Trade Commissioner, Hungarian Trade Commission, New York, USA, Embassy of Hungary,
1987-1999          Counselor, Desk Officer for USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New-Zealand, previously involved in IBRD, EBRD, IMF issues and topics,                                      Ministry of Economy, Budapest, Hungary
1980-1987          Teacher Jozsef Attila Junior High School, Hodmezovasarhely, Hungary


Lecturer: International Economics in English at the Budapest Business School, Hungary
Translator and Interpreter for the Office of Immigration and Nationality of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Hungary

Tomáš Hart

Tomas Hart
Tomáš Hart has been an Economic Counsellor at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. since August 2013. He was an Economic Counsellor in New York in 2007-2011. He also worked for Embassy of the Czech Republic in Belgrade in 2000-2005 as an Economic Attache.

In the years of 2006-2007 he worked as an advisor to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade. From September 2011 to April 2012 he was an advisor to the General Manager at CzechTrade, trade promotion agency of Czech Republic. From June 2012 to July 2013 he was a Secretary to the Economic Section of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

Prior to working for Czech govermnent, he worked as a Marketing and Sales Manager of a Swedish company GCE Autogen in Chotebor, Czech Republic.

Tomas Hart graduated from two universities: Technical University in Saint-Petersburg, Russia (1995) and Prague’s University of Economics (2004). He also holds an MBA from University of New York in Prague (2013).

Lynda House-McPeters

House-McPeters, Lynda
Lynda House-McPeters currently serves as Director – Carrier Relations, Wholesale/Global Service Delivery – AT&T. In this position she serves as the point of escalation for Service Delivery and Service Assurance issues for all AT&T Wholesale services that require specialized intervention so that roadblocks that impede problem resolution are removed. Under her leadership her team acts as the Customer’s advocate for any concerns and escalations across Ordering, Provisioning and Maintenance. As the owner of the overall Customer Experience, Lynda is required to interact with the Sales teams as well as numerous other internal AT&T departments so that the customers’ interests have the appropriate attention within AT&T. In addition, she is responsible for hosting regular Executive Meetings with Customers where the delivery of Customer specific Stewardship reporting is done. Lynda is accountable for driving the development of Root Cause Analysis Reports, Service Action Plans and Process Improvements to resolve immediate and systemic service delivery and maintenance issues. Lynda leads a team of professional Service Executives and Managers who are strategically located throughout the United States and Bratislava, Slovakia.

Celia Israel

Celia Israel
Celia Israel was elected to the Texas Legislature in January 2014 in a special election to represent House District 50. Currently Celia serves on the House Ways & Means and International Trade & Intergovernmental Affairs Committees. She is the owner of Mission Resources, a consulting firm focusing on public affairs and real estate. Raised in El Paso, Texas, Celia moved to the Austin area in 1982 to attend the University Texas at Austin. After graduating with a degree in Government, Celia served in Gov. Ann Richards’s administration, tasked with recruiting the best and brightest to public service. Celia serves on the boards of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Public Transportation, a local nonprofit promoting mass transit options and opportunities in Central Texas. She also is a member of both the Corridor Task Force and Mobility 35, both of which focus on Central Texas transportation solutions. She’s tackled issues from Central Texas growth to school safety, and led at the community level to empower young girls as a Board member of GEN Austin. She was a past board member of the Austin YWCA. Celia lives with her long-time partner, Celinda Garza, in North East Travis County.