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About IPC
International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council
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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

IPC Staff

A. Ellen Terpstra
President and CEO

Ellen Terpstra joined the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) as President and CEO in September 2012.  From 2002 until January 2009, she served as Deputy Under Secretary for international activities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. In that capacity, she managed the USDA's bilateral trade relations with many countries and participated in the WTO's Doha agricultural negotiations.

Earlier in her career, she worked as an international economist in the agricultural affairs office of the USTR (Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President) and headed two U.S. trade associations, the USA Rice Federation and the U.S. Apple Association. She began her career on Capitol Hill working for various members as well as the Congressional Research Service. Just prior to her current position, she consulted with Greenberg Traurig’s Washington, D.C. international trade practice, addressing agricultural market access issues.


Tamara Nelsen
Treasurer and Secretary (Pro-bono)

Tamara Nelsen is the Senior Director of Commodities of the Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division for the Illinois Farm Bureau. She is responsible for the management of all Commodities Department activities and programs. Tamara serves as the major resource person on commodity and food industry issues, including biotechnology and international trade. She also works with organizational, legislative, and regulatory efforts on related issues. Tamara was Assistant Executive Director at the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council from 1988-1995. Tamara has served as the Treasurer and Secretary of IPC since 1995. Tamara earned a B.A. with distinction in International Relations from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.


Marcia Wiss
Counsel (Pro-bono)

Marcia Wiss's practice at Hogan Lovells concentrates on international project finance and business transactions, with a particular focus on the financial structuring of international projects in emerging markets. Wiss has been in the private practice of law for the past 25 years and prior to that was the deputy to the assistant general counsel for finance at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). She has been the lead counsel on numerous projects financed by the US Export Import Bank, OPIC, and the International Finance Corporation, as well as commercial banks and the capital markets. She has represented clients in international business transactions in the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America, the Far East, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East. Wiss also has taught a course on international project finance and investment at Georgetown University Law Center for the past 20 years, and is currently teaching a class on international investment law at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.



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