- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
March 13, 2008Donald R. Forest, an international business veteran with 15 years management experience at the Commerce Department, has been named chief operating officer of AIA. In a new position, Forest will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of AIA and implementing the association's strategic performance plan. AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey said that Forest's background brings a solid mix of business and government experience to the association. "Don's management experience will ensure that the mission of the association is carried out smoothly and efficiently for our members," Blakey said. "In addition, his business expertise, especially in East Asia, brings a wealth of knowledge to our work, including enhancing the competitiveness of our industry and working on advanced technology controls." Most recently, Forest assisted a number of multinational corporations, associations and other organizations to achieve their business objectives in East Asia. Forest was vice president and chief representative of Citigroup CitiInsurance in China from 2001 through 2005, where he developed and executed a market entry strategy for the company. From 1999 to 2001, he worked in a similar capacity for Aetna International. From 1984 to 1999, Forest served with the Commerce Departments International Trade Administration. As commerce director for China and Hong Kong and as counselor and executive assistant to the under secretary for International Trade, he was instrumental in advancing U.S. trade interests for manufacturers and service providers alike and coordinating the overall operations of ITA. ITA is America's key trade promotion agency with a staff of 2,200 and a $400 million budget. Forest has been a strong supporter of U.S. industry associations globally and has held leadership positions with the American Chamber of Commerce in China, including co-chairman of its Public Policy Development Committee. A former presidential management intern, Forest earned a master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree from Clark University in Massachusetts.