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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2004
  Contact: Victoria Park/Curt Cultice
(202) 482-3809

Booneville, Mississippi Native Appointed as Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service


Rhonda Newman Keenum, a native of Booneville, Miss., was recently nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is the federal government's key export promotion agency, with the mission to help small- and medium-sized American businesses export to markets worldwide.

Keenum's experience in international marketing and management includes an extensive public service background in government and the private sector. As the Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the Commercial Service, Keenum will oversee a global network of trade specialists in 107 domestic offices and 150 posts in 78 countries that work to assist U.S. businesses and promote American exports abroad.

"Assistant Secretary Keenum brings great experience to our team. Her background and expertise will further strengthen this Administration's role in serving the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses," said Commerce Secretary Donald Evans.

"Promoting American made products and services is one of the highest priorities for President Bush and the Department of Commerce. I look forward to the opportunity to work with the dynamic small- and medium-sized businesses all over the country to sell their products and services in the international marketplace," said Keenum.

Keenum is a graduate of Mississippi State University.

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