The Honorable Paula Stern is Chairwoman of The Stern Group, Inc. The Stern Group is an international advisory firm with twenty years of experience in areas of business and government strategy in Washington, D.C.
A distinguished scholar and a former chairwoman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), Dr. Stern advises businesses on trade issues that affect their competitiveness in the international economy. She currently serves on the boards of directors of Avaya, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., and Hasbro, Inc. During her years at the ITC, as a commissioner from 1978-1987 and as chairwoman of the 500-person agency from 1984-1986, Dr. Stern analyzed and voted on over 1,000 trade cases involving a broad range of industries and issues. At the time, she was the second highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Government.
She is a former member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) (1993-2003), the former Co-chairperson of the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee (ICPAC) for the Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (1997-2000), and a former Chairwoman of the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (1996-1999). Stern was also a presidentially appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation.
Dr. Stern serves as Vice-Chair of the Atlantic Council of the United States and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Committee for Economic Development. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations the Inter-American Dialogue, the Bretton Woods Committee, and the Global Subsidies Initiative High-Level Advisory Group.
Dr. Stern was both a member and senior advisor of the Trade Policy Sub-council of the bipartisan, federally mandated Competitiveness Policy Council; she prepared the Council's proposals for reforming U.S. international economic policymaking, delivered to the Congress and the President in 1993, which guided the trade and export strategy of the Clinton Administration.
She also served on the congressionally mandated National Academy of Sciences’ Panel on the Future Design and Implementation of U.S. National Security Export Controls and the U.S. Congress' Office of Technology Assessment's advisory panel on Technology, Innovation, and U.S. Trade.
Dr. Stern served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from 1972-1974 and as a senior legislative assistant from 1976-1977. In the years between, she was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution where she wrote Water's Edge - Domestic Politics and the Making of American Foreign Policy, a well-received book on congressional-executive relations in foreign policy making. In subsequent years, she was a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow and a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1994 to 2000 she served as Alkire Chairholder in International Business at Hamline University.
Her writing on trade and foreign policy, Congress, women's issues, and U.S. relations with the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America, and Europe have been widely published in scholarly and more popular journals. She is also a frequent public speaker and television commentator in the United States and overseas.
In 1986, she was singled out by MS magazine as one of the top women influencing the American economy. In 1993, she was the recipient of the Directors’ Choice Award for Leadership presented by the National Women’s Economic Alliance Foundation. She has received honorary degrees in law from Goucher College and commercial science from Babson College and is a recipient of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Award. Dr. Stern recently received the Joseph Papp Award for Racial Harmony from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Stern received a BA from Goucher College, an MA in regional studies from Harvard, and a PhD in international affairs from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.