Barbara Kotschwar

United States |  Executive Director, Visa Economic Empowerment Institute


Barbara Kotschwar is the executive director of the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute. Previously, she served as senior director for global government relations at Visa International. She is also adjunct professor of Latin American studies and economics at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses on political economy and trade and integration in the Americas.

Before joining Visa, Kotschwar worked for three years as a senior private sector specialist at the World Bank. She served as a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics from 2007 to October 2015, where her projects included comparative analyses of Latin American experiences with free trade agreements, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America, an assessment of Mexico’s economy, and studies on commercial relations between the United States and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) partners.

Before joining the Peterson Institute, Kotschwar was chief of the Foreign Trade Information System at the Organization of American States, where she also provided technical and analytical support to the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) process in the area of standards and technical barriers to trade in her capacity as senior trade specialist. She has advised Latin American and Caribbean governments on trade-related issues and has worked with multilateral and regional development banks on a variety of trade and development projects.

Kotschwar was an event speaker at the Dialogue.

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