Appointed the ninth president of Agnes Scott College in 2018, Leocadia I. Zak has an extensive background in international economic development and international project finance. In 2010 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an independent federal agency that advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. Zak first joined the agency in 2000; prior to entering public service, she was an attorney for 18 years at the Boston firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo.
Education: Mount Holyoke College, Northwestern University School of Law (JD)
Leocadia I. Zak was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency which helps U.S. businesses create jobs through the export of their goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. companies to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries. USTDA provides a demonstrable return on taxpayer investment, generating an average $74 in U.S. exports for every dollar it programs. Further, the $11.8 billion in new exports identified in FY15, brings USTDA’s total exports generated to over $53 billion.
Since 2009, USTDA has launched innovative initiatives to connect U.S. businesses to the Agency’s export promotion programs. Making Global Local, the largest domestic outreach strategy in the Agency’s history, leverages partnerships with state and local trade entities to open overseas markets for U.S. goods and services. The Global Procurement Initiative levels the playing field for U.S. companies in emerging economies by advancing the utilization of best-value determinations and life-cycle cost analyses in public procurements. The Agency focuses its funding for activities in priority countries and key sectors, concentrating investments in areas with the highest potential for U.S. exports while promoting sustainable development overseas.
Prior to joining USTDA, Ms. Zak was a partner in the Washington and Boston offices of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., practicing in the areas of corporate, municipal and international finance. Ms. Zak was also an Adjunct Professor of Law and has taught International Project Finance at the Boston University School of Law, Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law Studies and at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Zak received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.