Founder & CEO

Dr. Kati Suominen is Founder and CEO of Nextrade Group and has ideated and led all Nextrade Group engagements. She ideates and develops actionable data, rigorous AI-driven analytics, and public-private partnerships to digitize and drive world trade and economic growth.

Suominen is a global thought leader in trade, development, and digitization. She has published over 100 articles and her 10th book, 
Revolutionizing World Trade: How Disruptive Technologies Open Opportunities for All, was published by Stanford University Press in November 2019.

She has ideated and built seven global initiatives and PPPs involving over 30 leading technology, ecommerce, and logistics companies and numerous global agencies, such as eTrade for All now championed the UN and 40 agencies to drive ecommerce development, Digital Standards for Trade (DST) now led by ADB and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to develop interoperability standards among trade intermediaries, and Alliance for eTrade Development I and II with 14 leading ecommerce, technology and logistics companies and USAID to accelerate ecommerce development in developing countries. She serves as the eTrade Alliance's Technical Director.

Suominen has spoken and keynoted at such venues as Davos, WTO, World Trade Symposium, Global Trade Review, ICC Banking Commission, IMF, and World Bank, and commented in such media as Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, Politico, BBC, CSPAN, USA Today, and LA Times.

She serves as Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she founded the Digital Trade program working with such companies as eBay, Google and IBM, and as Adjunct Professor at the UCLA Anderson School, where she teaches international business economics and the economics of global digital disruption. She is Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

She has served as Resident Fellow in the Global Economics program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (2010-12), where she founded the GMF’s G20 initiative, and as Trade Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank (2003-10), where she co-led the Bank’s global trade policy research, backstopped operational teams engaging in trade promotion and facilitation projects around the Americas, and served as trade policy advisor to APEC Senior Officials. In 2017, she served as Senior Advisor to the G20-launched World SME Forum. 

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.


Data and Research Associate

Erica Vambell is working on various data extraction and management projects at Nextrade. Focused on using technology to transform traditional industries, she has worked in various operational, finance, and data management roles in FinTech and ecommerce  startups, as well as in global logistics and freight forwarding at CMA CGM. BA, Virginia Tech. 

Mariah Furtek is working to collect and analyze data for Nextrade e-commerce policy matrices. She is currently completing an undergraduate honors thesis exploring the impact of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on communities within Pakistan. She graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in Geography June 2020. 


Data and Research Analyst

Fabian Stachelin is 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 work with Nextrade team to build developing country SMEs' ecommerce capabilities and use of online global marketplaces for trade. He has Masters degree form Graduate Institute on Geneva and is fluent in English, German and French. 


Ecommerce Expert

Nextrade experts

Several distinguished individuals have worked and are working with Nextrade, including:

  • Jean (Jem) Marasigan is Research Associate at Harder+Company Community Research in San Diego, where she helps nonprofits access data and analytical capabilities. She is driving Nextrade data and research initiatives and geospatial analytics. MA, UC San Diego.

  • Dr. Rachel Stevenson is a Head of Data Science and Analytics at Headspace Inc. in Los Angeles. She has deep expertise in supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms, and statistical methods, including time-series analysis, natural language processing, forecasting, bootstrapping, cross-validation, regression, clustering (e.g. k-means, hierarchical), and classification (e.g. logistic regression, random forest, SVM). PhD, UCLA.

  • Euijin Jung is Research Analyst at Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, where she conducts empirical and policy oriented research and analysis on trade issues such as US-China trade frictions, USMCA, Korea-US FTA, Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), US-EU privacy protection, exports of US small and medium enterprises and economic sanctions. MA, US San Diego.