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NEI Associate Director Cynthia Whittenburg to Serve on USTR Africa Trade Advisory

Apr 30, 2022 by Peter Robertson

Silver Spring, MD, April 30, 2022—NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) Associate Director Cynthia Whittenburg has been picked by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to serve a four-year term with the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA).

TACA serves as a key source of advice for the USTR in formulating U.S. trade and investment policy toward sub-Saharan Africa. “We look forward to benefiting from your experience and insights at this important juncture in U.S.-African trade relations,” said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in a letter accepting Whittenburg’s appointment.

Whittenburg joined NEI as Associate Director in July 2021 to promote and enhance the knowledge base and professionalism within this dynamic industry. Prior to that, she was Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner in Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Trade in Washington, D.C. NEI benefits from Whittenburg’s decades of experience with Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where she served in senior roles in trade oversight.

NEI provides educational opportunities to the members of NCBFAA and the larger trade community in the areas of international trade, supply chain management, global logistics, customs brokerage, export transactions, transportation, attendant government regulation, and those areas of knowledge necessary to manage or advance a career path in a business providing services to those sectors.

At CBP’s Office of Trade, Whittenburg drove key enforcement strategies over priority trade areas including antidumping and countervailing duties, intellectual property rights, import safety, textiles, broker compliance, forced labor, and trade agreements.

She joined CBP 33 years ago as an import specialist in the Port of New Orleans. Since that time, her experiences include serving as a course developer/instructor at the CBP Field Operations Academy – Federal Law Enforcement Training Center; National Account Manager; Branch Chief of Entry, Summary and Drawback; Division Director for Trade Facilitation and Administration; and Director of ACE Business Transformation. Her executive experience with the Department of Homeland Security also includes two six-month temporary assignments as Acting Executive Director for CBP’s Budget Office and Acting Deputy Federal Security Director at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for the Transportation Security Administration.

While working for CBP, Whittenburg served 24 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and Army National Guard. She also a graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science/Business and has earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, she graduated from the Department of Homeland Security Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program in 2013 and completed the Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2016. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Legal Studies, International Business Law, at University of Oklahoma.



Christopher Gillis
Communications Director



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Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) represents more than 1,000-member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade -the nation's leading freight forwarders, customs brokers, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTIs), NVOCCs and air cargo agents, serving more than 250,000 importers and exporters. Established in 1897 in New York, NCBFAA is the effective national voice of the industry. Through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect its members. It keeps them informed of these and other related issues through its weekly Monday Morning eBriefing, and various meetings and conferences throughout the year.