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Kati Suominen

Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group & Technical Director, eTrade Alliance

I am a business and policy entrepreneur, PhD trade economist, and Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group that helps Fortune 500 technology companies, governments, and multilateral development banks enable world trade through technology. We are pioneers in ideating and architecting data-driven strategies, proofs of concept and pilots, and PPPs to digitize and drive world trade, and in using leading-edge AI-driven and geospatial approaches in our analytical work. We are all about shaping the field – what is being done to enable trade and development, and how.

Our 50+ clients include such leaders as MasterCard, Visa, eBay, Google, AWS, PayPal, TradeKey, IBM, Fedex, Magento, World Bank, IFC, Inter-American Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Development Bank Institute, USAID, U.S. SBA, U.S. Commerce Department, UK FCDO, New Zealand MFAT, AusAID, Palladium Group, National Center for the Middle Market, European Institute for Ecommerce Management, Brookings Institution, Peterson Institute, ConnectAmericas, UNCTAD, ESCAP, and ECLAC.

I have ideated and architected countless data-driven analytical products and organizational strategies for our clients to enable trade through trade and digital policy reforms and technologies like AI and blockchain; developed pilots with corporate partners to use their technology assets to solve for key pain points in trade logistics, finance, and ecommerce development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and conceptualized and built eight regional and global public-private partnerships to drive digital trade, such as eTrade for All now led by the United Nations, Alliance for eTrade Development I and II with 17 global companies and USAID to accelerate ecommerce development – I serve as the Alliance’s Technical Director – and the Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance to enable Africa’s trade and productivity through technology also with 17 companies.

I have published over 120 reports and articles and 10 peer-reviewed books on trade, technology and globalization with leading academic presses, latest Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunity for All (Stanford University Press, 2019).

I have spoken and keynoted at such venues as Davos, WTO, World Trade Symposium, Global Trade Review, IIF, ICC Banking Commission, IMF, and World Bank, and commented in WSJ, Washington Post, Time, BBC, USA Today, and LA Times. I received my PhD from University of California, San Diego and MBA from Wharton. I played NCAA Division I tennis and captained our team at the University of Arkansas Little Rock.