AIIS Announces New Executive Director

Written by Brett Linton

November 12, 2013, Falls Church, VA – The American Institute for International Steel announces the selection of Richard Chriss as its new Executive Director, replacing David Phelps, who is retiring. David served as the Institute’s Executive Director and later President for the past 17 years.

Mr. Chriss will assume his new position on November 18, 2013, and work from the AIIS offices in Falls Church, Va. As noted by Chairman John Foster, “Richard brings with him an impressive education and international trade and policy background that fit extremely well with the free and responsible trade in steel mission of the AIIS. We were humbled by the high caliber and volume of candidates who applied for this position, but with all due respect, Richard stood out amongst the crowd.”

In looking forward to taking the helm at AIIS, Mr. Chriss commented that “The Institute has a great foundation, thanks to the exceptional work of Dave Phelps, and a tremendous future as a consequence of the breadth and diversity of its membership, and their enduring commitment to the cause of free trade and open markets as a principal element of America’s economic strength. I look forward to working with all of my new colleagues to help better secure this promising future.”

Mr. Chriss’s previous assignments include managing international trade policy for Sen. Charles Grassley from 1999-2003 and also dealing with steel trade- related issues affecting the industry. Additional responsibilities included international tax and trade policy analysis for the Senate Finance Committee, as well as extensive work within Congress regarding legislation renewing the President’s trade promotion authority (TPA). Mr. Chriss also served as the Senior Advisor and Counsel to the Under Secretary of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, where his work involved international trade coordination at the OECD Steel Conference meetings and bi-partisan coalition building on trade at the Congressional level.

More recently he served as an Assistant General Counsel, Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President where he was hired by then- Ambassador Portman (now Sen. Portman) for coordinating legal and policy guidance on international trade programs ranging from the WTO to being the initial Chief Counsel for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Most recently, Mr. Chriss has been the Managing Director at Richard Chriss & Co., an international trade advisory firm that provided counsel to businesses, Congress, Executive Branch agencies and other organizations on matters related to international trade. The firm’s primary focus has been to assist export and import-oriented businesses, including many steel using companies, navigate and overcome tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to market access worldwide.

Richard Chriss received his B.A. degree from Canisius College in New York, Masters Degrees in Public Policy and Public Administration from Harvard University, and his law degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, in Washington D.C. He also attended University College London, University of London, London, England, for non-degree work on law of the European Union and International Trade Law. (AIIS Press Release)

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