Eight foreign service officers of the U.S. Department of Commerce were guest speakers at the Access Asia: Healthcare and Life Sciences business forum on April 19 in San Rafael.

“This event enabled Dominican students to learn about the health care and life sciences environments of 11 Asian nations from U.S. commercial diplomats who work in those markets,” said Elizabeth Krauth, director, U.S. Commercial Service North Bay office. “The 30 (representatives from) local businesses who attended this event had a rare opportunity to evaluate several potential Asian export markets and meet one-on-one with our Asia-based commercial experts who are responsible for helping U.S. companies anticipate global trends, meet key decision-makers in the market, and grow sales globally.”

The officers included Douglass Wallace from Australia, Rosemary Gallant from Indonesia, David Gossack from South Korea, Maggie Hanson-Muse from Singapore, Matthew Quigley from Taiwan, Doug Jacobson from Vietnam, Keith Kirkham from Japan and James Golsen, executive director of Asia, who is based in Washington, D.C.

The diplomats head the commercial section of their respective U.S. embassy and lead a team of American officers and locally hired staff to help facilitate U.S. export sales in their markets.

The event, held in the Garden Room at Edgehill Mansion on the Dominican University of California campus, was sponsored by the Lepage Center for Global Innovation in the university’s Barowsky School of Business and by the U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

Assistant Professor of Management Vafa Saboori said the event brings together our students, faculty and staff with external stakeholders.

“Very few business schools can create the opportunity for their students to interact with senior commercial officers from many different countries and private firms,” Saboori said.

One such student is class of 2018 business administration major Jake Gordon.

“From this event, I learned about the dynamics of different countries’ operations, and how these operations have adverse effects on the governing bodies on other countries they interact with,” said Gordon, who attended last year’s panel discussion and lunch.

The experience at the U.S. Commercial Service International Trade Administration opened my eyes to Rudy Chery, class of 2017, to career opportunities in the Asian market.

“This had a considerable influence on my career choice decisions. Today, working in the Asia market, I apply what I’ve learned into practice and plan to develop new relationships further this year,” said Chery, who earned his MBA at Dominican before becoming program manager for Navigate Global Business Development.

Sam Beldona, dean of the university’s Barowsky School of Business, said, “The faculty in the business school believe in co-creating knowledge with external partners like private firms, governmental agencies, chambers of commerce and industry trade associations.”