Jay A. Burgess
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe & Eurasia
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Since 2005, Jay A. Burgess has served as Director of the Office of European Country Affairs (OECA) within the European Bureau of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). From 1982-2005, he was Director of the Central and Eastern Europe Division in Commerce. Simultaneously, from 1994 to 2004, Jay also was Director of Commerce's Central and Eastern Europe Business Information Center (CEEBIC), which was the U.S. Government’s central clearinghouse for all economic, commercial, and financial information on 15 Central & East European countries during the transition of the newly democratic countries of the region to free market economies. During April - June, 2006; January – December, 2009; and again from October 3, 2011 to the present, Jay has served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe and Eurasia.
As OECA Director, Jay is responsible in the Department for developing and recommending policies and programs, as well as directing their implementation, with respect to U.S. economic and commercial relations with 38 countries of Europe. Under his direction, the Office of European Country Affairs provides policy advice, briefing materials, and country expertise to the Secretary of Commerce and other senior Commerce and U.S. Government officials for use in dealing with foreign governments both domestically and internationally. He leads the Department’s efforts to help solve trade policy and market access issues facing U.S. firms engaged in commercial activity throughout Europe. He frequently represents the Commerce Department in U.S. Government interagency deliberations affecting the region and in meetings and negotiations with European officials both in Washington and in Europe.
Jay has received numerous Commerce Department awards. In 1995, he was awarded Commerce’s Gold Medal for leadership in national initiatives strengthening market democracy and expanding U.S. trade and investment in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Jay has twice received the Commerce’s Silver Medal - in 1999 for creating innovative programs promoting international adoption of sound economic policies and legal regimes in CEE, and in 2003 for CEEBIC’s achievements in strengthening free market development in the CEE region. On three separate occasions (1983, 1991, & 2004), Jay received Commerce’s Bronze Medal - the International Trade Administration's (ITA) highest award. Also, in June 2003, Jay received ITA’s Stephen C. Kaminski Memorial Award for diplomatic skills in furthering U.S. trade relations with the CEE countries, and in June 2004, he and the Central and Eastern Europe Division received ITA’s Charles F. Meissner Memorial Award for their exemplary performance in advancing U.S. economic and commercial goals in CEE. Jay is also the recipient of the Department’s superior performance awards in 1977 and 1981 and the ITA Under Secretary’s Award in 2000 for furthering U.S. economic foreign policy objectives in Southeast Europe.
In June 2005, Jay was honored by the Hungarian Government and awarded the Officers Cross Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary signed by Hungarian President Madl in recognition of his dedicated work over 25 years in improving U.S.-Hungarian business and trade relations. Jay is also a recipient of the University of Illinois College of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2006-2007.
Jay joined the Commerce Department in 1975 as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for East-West Trade. During 1975-1982, he served as the Department's Senior Romanian Desk Officer, Acting Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, and Deputy Director of the East European Affairs Division in the Department’s Bureau of East-West Trade. Prior to coming to Commerce, Jay was an attorney at the American Society of International Law (1971-72), and he was an Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (1972-75). Also, from 1972-1977, Jay was a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.
Jay is a 1966 graduate of Brown University (B.A.), a 1967 graduate of the University of Durham (England) (M.A.) - where he studied under a Rotary International Fellowship, and a 1971 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law (J.D.). He also studied at the University of Bucharest Faculty of Law in 1969-1970 as a Fulbright Fellowship Scholar.
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