Trade Business Roundtable Announces Jennifer Thornton to Lead Trade and International Policy

Sep 22, 2022

Washington - Business Roundtable today announced the hiring of Jennifer Thornton as Vice President, Trade and International. Thornton joined the Roundtable on September 8, 2022. She most recently served as Trade Counsel to the Republican Members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“I am delighted to welcome Jennifer to Business Roundtable to lead our policy work on international trade and investment. She brings to this role a broad range of relevant professional experiences, from her work on the Ways and Means Committee and 10 years in the State Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, to practicing and teaching law,” said Business Roundtable CEO Joshua Bolten. “Jennifer joins the Roundtable at a consequential time for U.S. trade and international policy, particularly with respect to the Indo-Pacific region and China. Her extensive knowledge will be invaluable in helping our members advance trade policies that promote a competitive American economy.”

As Vice President, Trade and International, Thornton will lead the organization’s development and advocacy of policies that strengthen the multilateral, rules-based trading system. 

During her time on the Hill, Thornton advised the Republican Members of the House Ways and Means Committee on a broad portfolio of international trade issues, including our trade relationship with the European Union, China and Africa, the enforcement of U.S. trade agreements and the scope of congressional constitutional trade authorities. 

Prior to her time on the Hill, Thornton spent 10 years in the U.S. State Department and in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) litigating international investment disputes and negotiating related agreements. From 2014 to 2017, Thornton served as Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel to Deputy USTR, Ambassador Robert W. Holleyman II, and managed all trade and investment matters involving China. Prior and subsequent to her government service, she practiced law for 10 years in New York and Washington, representing both corporate and sovereign clients in international arbitration and investment disputes. 

She 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 holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an M.Phil from Cambridge University and a B.A. from Wellesley College.