Paul Thanos

Paul J. Thanos is the Director for Finance and Insurance Industries at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration.  He is responsible for developing and executing policy, analysis, and promotion initiatives pertaining to finance and insurance industries, trade and project finance, impact investing, and access to finance.

His program of work includes expansion of finance and insurance exports, attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, and developing cooperative programs with international partners.  His team has direct participation in both the financial services and small and medium size enterprise (SME) chapters of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements such as the U.S.-EU Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He leads the U.S. delegation to the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee and is directly engaged in a series of international insurance market access issues in China, India, Indonesia, and Latin America.  In 2014 he secured an unprecedented agreement with the Government of Brazil to promote impact investing through a suite of bilateral initiatives.  His team closely collaborates with several USG agencies and organizations including the Department of Treasury, USTR, Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Federal Reserve.  He is a regular guest lecturer at the George Washington University Business and Public Policy schools on topics ranging from trade policy, SME access to finance, and stakeholder capitalism.

Prior to taking this position Paul served as a legislative aide to Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with responsibility for trade, foreign policy, and defense issues.  Paul also has ten years of experience covering Middle East issues and previously served as Deputy Director for the Commerce Department’s Office of the Middle East.  He worked directly on the Middle East peace process in the 1990s and has traveled throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia.  Paul received a Masters of Public Administration from American University’s School of Public Affairs and a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.