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Director of International Trade Policy, VDMA America Inc.

The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (DGIC) seeks to hire a Director of International Trade Policy on a full-time basis to be dedicated to the interests of the German Machinery and Equipment Manufacturers Association (VDMA).  

The VDMA, one of Germany’s major industrial associations, represents over 3,600 companies across a variety of machinery and plant engineering sectors in Germany and Europe, supplying capital goods to critical sectors such as semiconductor, clean energy, transportation, and many others. Some 1,000 of these companies have operations within the United States, including sales, service, and manufacturing sites. VDMA is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, with an office for member engagement in Chicago and foreign offices in other important locations in key export countries.  

Due to the nature of the position, the successful candidate will work independently in Washington, in close collaboration with VDMA colleagues in Germany and Brussels. S/he will be responsible for monitoring and analyzing US policy developments relevant to the machinery industry and VDMA. In addition, s/he will promote the priorities of VDMA’s member companies to appropriate American audiences—primarily governmental decisionmakers. The policy portfolio will focus primarily on international trade policy, manufacturing / industrial policy, infrastructure, market entry, and other issues that impact the interests of VDMA member companies in the American and global markets.  

At DGIC, the Director of International Trade Policy will join a small German American team. The Delegation is part of the network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) and aims to promote and deepen economic and commercial ties between the United States and Germany. The position is based in DGIC’s office in downtown Washington, DC. The successful candidate will begin as soon as possible. 

DGIC is an equal opportunity employer offering a generous package of vacation, health insurance, and retirement fund benefits. Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and prior experience.  

Duties and responsibilities  

  • Advocate for the priorities of the sector before relevant federal decisionmakers (including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and key committees and members of Congress).  
  • Monitor US policy developments and identify legislation, regulations, executive actions, or other trends that create opportunities and challenges for the German and European machinery and equipment manufacturing sector. The results of this monitoring will be communicated regularly to VDMA colleagues in Frankfurt am Main and Brussels.  
  • Write content for publications, including statements, comments/opinions, and internal communications, with input from subject-matter experts within VDMA in Germany and Brussels.  
  • Serve as the voice of VDMA member companies in meetings with internal and external stakeholders, including via periodic travel within the United States.  
  • Coordinate programs including meetings with Congress, the Executive Branch, Embassies, other industry associations, companies, think tanks, and other key stakeholders for VDMA leadership during visits to Washington.  
  • Collaborate with U.S. subsidiaries of VDMA member companies, as well as partner organizations.  
  • Organize events and briefings on priority issues.  
  • Research and analyze sector-specific market information.  
  • Travel to Germany twice yearly for orientation and integration into the VDMA organization.  
  • Serve as a corporate officer of VDMA America, Inc. which involves occasional administrative tasks. 

 

Skills  

  • Ability to develop and drive a policy agenda as a motivated self-starter working independently. 
  • Ability to manage and cultivate relationships with partner organizations, including associations, companies, and think tanks.  
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a team.  
  • Sound understanding of U.S. legislative and administrative procedures, and the ability to synthesize these and related topics and concisely explain their significance.  
  • Excellent communication skills in both written and spoken English. 
  • Strong research, analytic, organizational, and time-management skills.  
  • Flexibility to adapt to new topics and conditions as needed.  
  • Proficiency with Microsoft office suite.  
  • German language skills desirable, but not required.  

 

Qualifications  

  • At least three years’ prior work experience in federal government affairs and public policy, including government service or the private sector. Demonstrated knowledge of U.S.-German and -European trade and economic relations.  
  • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g., trade, economics, business, finance, politics, international relations, law). Advanced degree is not required but considered a plus.  
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or already possess a valid U.S. work authorization that does not require sponsorship.  
  • Must have a valid passport (or be eligible to obtain a valid passport) allowing for periodic travel to Germany and potentially other EU countries. 

**Application procedure** 

Please submit the below documents in a single PDF file to careers(at)washington.ahk.de with “VDMA Director Application” in the subject line. Qualified candidates may be invited to a personal and virtual interview.  

  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the position and salary expectations (maximum one page).  
  • CV or resume, including the names and contact details for at least two references.  
  • Brief writing samples in English (required) and German (if applicable)

Internships

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