Commerce Department Seeks Manufacturing Expertise for Advisory Council

July 20, 2018
Make an impact on government policy, from foreign direct investment and workforce development, to infrastructure and research funding.

The pages of IndustryWeek are full of the issues affecting U.S. industrial health, economic growth, and job creation—and the policies surrounding those issues. If you’re one of the business and economic development leaders reading IW, you probably say to yourself daily, “I’d love to talk to the person who made that decision.”

Well, here’s your chance.

Following the successful SelectUSA Investment Summit last month, the Department of Commerce is accepting applications for its Investment Advisory Council. Given the heightened visibility around trade and foreign affairs, this is an opportunity to make an impact, as the Council reports to the Secretary of Commerce on government policies and programs that directly affect foreign direct investment (FDI). Council members make policy recommendations to help the United States retain—as well as remain the world’s preeminent destination for—FDI.  

The Council also affects issues such as workforce development, U.S. infrastructure, federal regulations, and research funding—the same issues you read about in IW.

In the past, the Council has made recommendations to the Secretary on issues including infrastructure investment, workforce development initiatives, and digital tools for economic development—recommendations that have informed policies of the Department of Commerce.

Membership on the Council consists of up to 20 members appointed by the Secretary. The members should represent companies and organizations investing, seeking to invest, seeking foreign investors, or facilitating investment across many sectors, including:

  • U.S. incorporated companies that are majority-owned by foreign companies or individuals, or that generate significant foreign direct investment;
  • Companies or entities whose business includes FDI-related activities or the facilitation of FDI; and,
  • Economic development organizations and other U.S. governmental and non-governmental organizations and associations whose missions or activities include the promotion or facilitation of FDI.

All members serve a two-year term, are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, must be able to meet at least twice a year and must also be U.S. nationals or permanent residents.  Foreign nationals are not allowed to apply.

The Council is scheduled to meet a minimum of two times a year, with additional meetings being called at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce or his /her designee.

I hope many of you will apply to serve on the Council, and will bring your thought leadership and industry experience to the service of the United States. Please visit for a full description of the Council. You can find the call for member nominations on the Federal Register.

Brian Lenihan is the acting executive director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program, which promotes and facilitates job-creating foreign direct investment in the United States.

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