ST. PAUL (March 13, 2013) — Kathleen Motzenbecker has been named executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, replacing Katie Clark Sieben, who was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in October.
Motzenbecker has extensive experience in international trade and foreign direct investment, including serving as deputy director for Asia Pacific at the Illinois Department of Commerce and working for the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.
“Kathleen has a wealth of experience that will advance the Minnesota Trade Office’s mission of increasing Minnesota exports and attracting foreign direct investment to the state,” Commissioner Sieben said. “This is a key leadership role for the state of Minnesota, and I’m thrilled to add someone with Kathleen’s experience and background to DEED’s leadership team.”
“It is an honor to be chosen for this job and to have the opportunity to work with Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Sieben and the outstanding staff at the Minnesota Trade Office,” Motzenbecker said. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the important work of the Trade Office and its partners.”
Motzenbecker will report to Robin Sternberg, DEED’s deputy commissioner of economic development.
The Minnesota Trade Office, an office within DEED, is considered a key piece of the state’s economic development strategy, offering programs and services to help Minnesota companies compete globally. The Trade Office provides export information, market research, education and training, and one-on-one counseling to Minnesota companies that want to sell manufactured goods and services in the international marketplace. The office also arranges and coordinates trade missions and encourages foreign companies to invest in operations in Minnesota.
In her most recent job, Motzenbecker was director of membership for the Minneapolis Downtown Council, representing the city’s top business association in business development and recruitment. She was part of a senior team that launched The 2025 Plan, a 15-year road map for growth in downtown Minneapolis.
Motzenbecker’s foreign trade and policy experience includes working from 2005 to 2008 at the Illinois Department of Commerce, where she supervised four Asian trade offices for the state, led trade missions to China, represented the state at foreign direct investment seminars in Asia and created an outreach program to promote international trade.
Her work at the nonprofit Council on Foreign Relations included designing outreach events with major global political leaders such as Yasser Arafat, Benazir Bhutto and Henry Kissinger. She helped arrange more than 100 foreign policy meetings a year and managed a bipartisan foreign policy series for more than 200 key congressional staff.
Her other foreign policy experience includes serving as the founding director of the Center for Global Peace Through Commerce at Dominican University in Oak Park, Ill.; executive director of the U.S. Committee for UN Development Programme; and an assistant at the National Democratic Institute.
Motzenbecker has a bachelor’s degree in political science and Italian from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and a master’s degree in international policy studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us atwww.PositivelyMinnesota.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PositivelyMN.