Catherine A. Novelli was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment on February 18, 2014. In this capacity, she leads the State Department’s efforts to develop and implement economic growth, energy, agricultural, oceans, environmental, and science and technology policies to promote economic prosperity and address global challenges in a transparent, rules-based, and sustainable system.
Prior to assuming her current duties, she was Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs at Apple, Inc. In that role, Ms. Novelli headed a multinational international team responsible for Apple’s federal, international, and state and local government relations and public policy.
Prior to her tenure at Apple, Ms. Novelli was a partner in the Washington office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP where she assisted Fortune 100 clients on issues involving international trade and investment.
Formerly Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe & the Mediterranean, Ms. Novelli coordinated U.S. trade and investment policy for the over 65 countries of Western Europe, Central Europe, Russia, the NIS, the Middle East and Northern Africa. She has taken a leading role in many of the most important U.S. trade negotiations in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa. As the point person for the $1 trillion economic relationship between the United States and Europe, Ms. Novelli led efforts to ensure access to the European market for U.S. manufactured and agricultural products.
Ms. Novelli was the lead strategist in creating the United States’ free trade agenda with the Middle East. She led free trade agreement negotiations with Jordan, Morocco and Bahrain, Oman and United Arab Emirates. She chaired the Trade and Investment Framework Councils with a number of countries in the region, including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, and worked on other broad-based, public-private initiatives in the region.
Ms. Novelli has also played a critical role for the United States in Central Europe, Russia, Ukraine and Central Asia. As the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia, she negotiated most of the bilateral trade and investment agreements that underpin our economic relationship in that region.
Prior to joining USTR, Ms. Novelli served in the Office of General Counsel at the Department of Commerce. Ms. Novelli is a graduate of Tufts University, holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Laws from University of London (with concentrations in international and comparative law at the London School of Economics and School of Oriental and Asian Studies).