top of page



Founder & CEO

Dr. Kati Suominen is Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and ideates and leads Nextrade Group engagements with the company's more than 50 clients.  Kati has ideated and built dozens of data and analytical products, pilot initiatives, and eight global initiatives and public-private-partnerships to support Nextrade's clients in enabling world rade through technology - including, most recently, the Alliance for eTrade Development I and II between 15 leading companies and USAID to enable SME ecommerce in developing nations, and the Prosper Africa Tech for Trade Alliance with 21 companies and U.S. government's Proper Africa initiative.

Kati is the author and editor of over 120 papers and 10 peer-reviewed books on trade, globalization and technology with leading academic presses, most recently Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunities for All  (Stanford University Press, 2019).  She has spoken and keynoted numerous times at such venues as Davos, World Trade Organization, World Trade Symposium, Global Trade Review, ICC Banking Commission, Institute of International Finance, IMF, and World Bank, APEC Senor Officials' Meeting, and commented in such media as Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, Politico, BBC, CSPAN, USA Today, and Los Angeles Times

She also serves as Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Adjunct Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Earlier in her career, she served as Trade Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank working on global trade policy issues with such organizations as the Asian Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), OECD, and the WTO, and Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.  A trade economist, she received her PhD from University of California, San Diego, MBA from the Wharton School of Business, MA from Boston University, and BA from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, where she played Division I tennis on a full scholarship. She is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 


Shannon Gaffney designs and manages Nextrade's development programs to accelerate SMEs' digital transformation through trade. Her experience ranges from advising Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative on matters of international trade and competitiveness to serving as Chief of Party for two USAID-funded projects focused on digital trade, ecommerce, trade facilitation, and trade logistics for the digital economy. Shannon earned a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She speaks Spanish.




Sarah Fakhry oversees Nextrade's public sector portfolio. With a keen focus on leveraging technology to enhance trade and economic growth, Sarah has a proven track record of delivering complex public sector programs. Her expertise spans the MENA region, Latin America, and Africa, where she has effectively addressed development challenges and promoted economic growth. She holds a master’s and bachelor's degrees from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. She speaks Arabic, English, and Spanish.




Michael Poor manages Nextrade's development programs to enable trade through technology especially in Africa. He designs interventions and approaches with private sector partners, and leads project execution. With a background in working with leading financial services firms including AIG and its corporate clients, he also brings expertise in digital payments and digital finance solutions and policies.  MA, University of California, San Diego; BA, University of Colorado, Boulder.


Senior Manager and Financial Services Lead

Jem Marasigan - square web.jpg

Jem Marasigan leads the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) efforts across all of Nextrade's development programs with a key goal of facilitating insights that fuel innovation in the ecommerce field. She brings extensive experience in MEL with a research background in economics and development, Jem's expertise lies in data organization and analysis. Jem has also had prior history working at Nextrade as an intern where she supported with research that informed Nextrade's ecommerce policy work. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with both a bachelor's and master's degree.


Research Manager

Erica Vambell.jpeg

Erica Vambell manages research projects and provides analysis for Nextrade's innovative data and research products to enable the digital transformation of global trade. She has also planned and hosted high-level events and webinars on digital trade with key private sector partners and policymakers. With a background in FinTech, small business ecommerce, and global logistics, she brings relevant private sector expertise to many of the projects Nextrade works on. Erica earned her bachelor's degree from Virginia Tech.


Senior Associate

WhatsApp Image 2023-05-10 at 7.23_edited.jpg

Bonaly Phrasavath manages project development and supports data analysis and research work across Nextrade projects, with private and public sector clients. She has experience working with international stakeholders from the trade, security, media, and corporate sectors. Bonaly also promotes Nextrade's work across various digital platforms, showcasing the impactful projects Nextrade spearheads. She received her BA in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and her Master of International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego.


Senior Associate


Fabian Stachelin works with Nextrade team to build developing country SMEs' ecommerce capabilities and use of online global marketplaces for trade. He is also founder of founded e-traid gmbh aimed at developing cross-border ecommerce in emerging countries. A former eBay executive and consultant at the International Trade Center with over a decade of experience in ecommerce in emerging markets, Fabian has Masters degree form Graduate Institute on Geneva and is fluent in English, German and French. 


Ecommerce Development Lead

Bassil Eid.jpg

Bassil Eid builds developing country SMEs' ecommerce capabilities and use of online global marketplaces for trade, in the MENA region in particular. He is co-founder of a number of startups in logistics and finance, and has served in senior executive roles at DHL Express and DHL Freight , as well as at eBay where he was head of U.S. Exports. He also invests in logistics startups. Bassil has MBA from from the University of Ottawa and speaks English, French and Arabic. 


Ecommerce Development Lead

bottom of page