Pamela N. Phan is the Acting Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In this capacity, she leads efforts to promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and responsible business conduct and to advocate for U.S. business interests abroad.
Previously, Ms. Phan served as the Senior Investment Treaty Negotiator and Policy Advisor in the Bureau’s Office of Investment Affairs. There, she played a leading role in numerous U.S. investment treaty and free trade agreement negotiations, including re-negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and negotiations with China. From 2018-2020, she also served as the Department’s Liaison to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), directly advising the Deputy Secretary of State in his capacity as a member of the OPIC Board of Directors and helping lay the groundwork for OPIC’s transformation into the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation.
A specialist in international investment and Chinese law, Ms. Phan joined the Department in 2012 from Stanford Law School, where she taught international economic law and ran the Master of Laws Program in International Economic Law, Business and Policy. She has also held teaching positions at the George Washington University School of Law and as a visiting scholar at law schools in China.
Ms. Phan’s prior government experience includes her work on Capitol Hill at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, where she served as the Commission’s Acting General Counsel during the 110th Congress and advised on human rights and rule of law developments in China during the 109th Congress. Earlier in her career, she spent nearly six years as a corporate transactions lawyer in New York, Hong Kong, and Beijing.
Ms. Phan holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a B.A. from Stanford University. She is licensed to practice law in New York and California. A native speaker of English and Vietnamese, she is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.