Catherine A. Novelli

Catherine Novelli

Catherine Novelli

Catherine A. Novelli has over 35 years of professional leadership driving change for companies and governments. An internationally recognized leader in strategic management, negotiations and navigating complex situations. Proven results in driving economic and environmental advancements globally. A trusted advisor to the most senior leaders in the US Government and Fortune 100 companies. Brings value to organizations through:

  • track record of driving success in large complex organizations and difficult political situations
  • a foremost global expert in negotiations (business, non-profit/NGO, governmental)
  • extensive experience communicating complex issues to the public worldwide via speeches, press and social media
  • deep professional network of senior foreign government and business leaders
  • wide breadth of subject matter experience in business, international trade, science, technology and environment
  • outstanding team player
  • expert in building high-performing global teams

Board Experience

National Wildlife Federation - August 2017-present – NWF is the oldest conservation organization in the United States. Board is an active, governing Board of $100 Million organization that includes a publishing business. Member of Finance, Innovation and Conservation Program Committees.

National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine – September 2017-present – Global Policy and Issues Advisory Board. Participant in numerous other study groups and activities.

National Geographic Pristine Seas Initiative – February 2017-present – dedicated to documenting and protecting the most untouched and biologically significant places in the Ocean.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) - 2014-2017 - $21 Billion portfolio for financing projects in developing countries with US company involvement.

World Bank, Alternate Governor - 2014-2016.

Information Technology Industry Council, Board Vice Chair – 2007-2014 – foremost association of technology companies.

Information Technology Industry Foundation – 2010-2014 – leading think tank on technology policy.

Women Thrive Worldwide – 2006-2012 –non-profit dedicated to empowering women in developing countries.

Career Highlights

Shearwater Global, Senior Advisor – November 2020- present. A strategic consulting firm based in Europe, advising U.S. and foreign companies primarily on navigating the European Union, and U.K.

Georgetown University, Adjunct Professor and Centennial Fellow – August 2018- present. As Centennial Fellow 2018/2019, worked with students to establish a new podcast on the intersection of business and the environment, called The Wealth of Nature, which is still running. Teaching graduate and senior undergraduate courses that I designed on International Trade and Technology as well as the Modern Global Economy.

Listening for America, Founder and President – September 2017 – present. A non-partisan, non-profit organization formed to build a new, bipartisan, publicly-supported dynamic set of U.S. policies around international trade and investment. Conducted over 100 listening sessions and focus groups throughout the United States in 2018, with sessions continuing in 2019. Goal is to formulate recommendations on trade policy, develop trade education initiatives and highlight effective solutions to the effects of globalization on communities and individuals.

Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, United States of America – February 2014- January 2017 Unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Led the development of U.S. foreign policy on global economic issues, energy, environment and science and technology. Advocated with foreign countries for sound economic, energy and environmental policy and advised U.S. companies on strategies to pursue for access to foreign markets. Provided strategic advice to the President and Vice President through the National Security Council and National Economic Council cabinet and sub-cabinet level decision-making. Extensive public speaking, press and social media communication.

Apple Inc, Vice President, Worldwide Government Affairs – April 2007-January 2014 Created and managed a highly-successful multinational international team responsible for Apple’s international, federal and state and local government relations and public policy. Led efforts to gain Chinese Government approval for iPhone marketing. Negotiated tax benefits from Brazilian Government for iPhone manufacture. Engaged worldwide on issues such as privacy, environment, worker safety and tax.

Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP-- Partner – September 2005 – March 2007 Represented and provided strategic advice to companies on a wide range of international trade, investment and access to international markets issues. Clients included Fortune 500 companies in financial services, telecommunications, innovation sciences and energy.

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Europe and the Mediterranean – 1997 – September 2005. Provided strategic vision and management for U.S. trade and investment policy with Europe, the former Soviet Union, Middle East and North Africa. Led successful, high quality, Free Trade Agreement negotiations with countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Central Europe and Eurasia – 1993-1997 Managed U.S. trade and investment policy for the region during critical formative years.

Director for Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, Office of U.S. Trade Representative – 1991-1993. Shaped U.S. trade and investment policy for this region during break-up of the Soviet Union. Led negotiations to create Bilateral Trade Agreements and Bilateral Investment Treaties with most of the 25+ countries in the region.

U.S. Department of Commerce, Attorney, Office of General Counsel - 1985-1991. Provided legal advice on broad range of international trade law. Participated in US-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Debovoise, Liberman, Cook, Purcell & Reynolds, Associate -1982-1985. International trade law, environment and labor law (Leave of absence 1983 to obtain L.L.M.).


University of London, L.L.M. – 1983

University of Michigan Law School, J.D. – 1982

Tufts University, B.A., (with honors) – 1979


Meritorious Service Award - Highest Honor of the Secretary of State of the United States

International Trade Official of the Year (2016) - Washington International Trade Society

Woman of the Year (2005) - Women in International Trade

Silver Medal for Meritorious Service - U.S. Department of Commerce

Professional Memberships

Member of the District of Columbia Bar