Jennifer Thornton leads Business Roundtable's advocacy on trade and international policy. BRT's Trade & International Committee advocates for policies that strengthen the rules-based system for international trade and investment so that American companies and their workers can compete effectively in the global economy.
Prior to joining BRT, Ms. Thornton served as Trade Counsel to the Republican Members of the Committee on Ways and Means in the United States House of Representatives. In this capacity, she advised the caucus on a broad portfolio of international trade issues, including the U.S. trade relationship with the European Union, China, and Africa, the implementation of the WTO Agreements and U.S. free trade agreements, and all digital trade, investment, and intellectual property issues. Prior to her tenure on the Committee, Ms. Thornton spent ten years in the Department of State and in the Office of the United States Trade Representative litigating international investment disputes and negotiating international investment agreements. From 2014 to 2017, she served as Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel to Deputy United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert W. Holleyman II, and managed the full range of trade policy issues in his portfolio, including all matters involving China. Prior and subsequent to her government service, Ms. Thornton practiced law for ten years in New York and Washington representing both corporate and sovereign clients in international arbitration and investment disputes.
Ms. Thornton is currently a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School and has previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas and George Mason University Law Schools, where she has taught courses in international trade and investment law. She has also spoken and published regularly on U.S. trade and investment policy.
Ms. Thornton holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an M.Phil from Cambridge University, and a B.A. from Wellesley College.