Jennifer Woods (Center) presents Idaho Export Council Certificates to returning members, Daniel Faricy and Karen Jones.

IDEC Welcomes Jennifer Woods as New Director of the USCS in Idaho

Jennifer Woods started as Director of the U.S. Commercial Service office in Idaho in November of 2023, after moving from Tennessee, where she was Director of the Knoxville Commercial Service Office. Jennifer began her career as a Foreign Service officer from 1997 to 2000, then worked as a Senior International Trade Specialist from 2000 to 2017. She then served as a Senior Foreign Commercial Service Officer in Lagos, Nigeria, for four and a half years. Jennifer has also served the agency in Tokyo, Japan, and Portland, Oregon. 

Before joining the Commercial Service, Jennifer worked in the private sector for ten years in international marketing for several high-tech companies in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She speaks both Japanese and French and has an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS, and is a CGBP.

Jennifer has expertise in industries including  Aerospace & Defense (Aircraft, Aircraft Parts, Airport and Ground Support, Aviation Services, Composite Materials, Defense Industry Equipment), Automotive and Smart MobilityEducation and Training ServicesEnvironmental Technologies (Water Resources, Solid Waste and Recycling, Air Monitoring and Pollution Control), Energy Industries (Oil/Gas, Renewable, Power Systems), and Safety & Security (Equipment & Services).  

Jennifer earned an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She discovered her passion for international relations during her undergraduate studies in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. After completing her degree, Jennifer worked in the telecommunications industry as a consultant, advising several Japanese multinationals, such as NTT and Nissho Iwai, on U.S. policy and regulatory developments. Later, she worked for Orion Network Systems, the first international satellite services competitor to Intelsat, where she oversaw the creation and launch of the satellite services division in collaboration with ten international consortium partners. Jennifer managed launch day activities at Cape Canaveral for investors and potential customers, worked with the consortium partners committee to develop international marketing materials for the business, coordinated the company’s participation in trade events such as the ITU World Telecom trade show, and assisted in the preparation of the company’s public offering presentation materials.

After spending ten years in the private sector, Jennifer decided to pursue a career in public diplomacy. She applied for and was sworn in as a Foreign Commercial Service Officer. Her first tour was in Tokyo, Japan, where she underwent language studies. 

While in Japan, Jennifer served as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Trade Center. She developed and executed a robust trade event program highlighting the U.S. niche market expertise in various sectors, including software, building materials, textiles, and apparel. In addition, she coordinated dozens of Governor and State-led delegations, facilitating business-to-business matchmaking opportunities and trade events tailored to the delegations.

Jennifer then moved to the U.S. domestic field office in Portland, Oregon, where she and her colleagues created a trade education/capacity-building program that was delivered around the state in coordination with local Chambers of Commerce and EDOs. This program was so successful that a major international courier company was interested in deploying it to other U.S. states in the region.

Jennifer also identified gaps and opportunities in the local international business landscape in Portland. She created a Quarterly International Business Networking reception with the support of the local DEC, providing an opportunity for local businesses and international business services providers to share best practices and develop a local international business ecosystem of support. 

Jennifer’s diverse portfolio in Portland included the sporting goods and outdoor equipment sector, as well as education services. She used the opportunity to hone her tradecraft skills in export controls and compliance. She became one of the first national Education services Team leaders and led the Study Oregon higher education consortium through a decade of growing its brand internationally. 

In 2016, Jennifer developed and led the first U.S. higher education trade mission to Africa. Coincidentally, she was subsequently assigned to Lagos, Nigeria, as the Commercial Attaché.

Jennifer recently joined the USCS office in Boise, Idaho, after completing her second tour as the Senior Commercial Officer in Lagos. She spent considerable time in Nigeria, which is considered to be Africa’s largest economy, where she applied her commercial tradecraft and diplomacy skills in a highly complex and nuanced market. She is thrilled to bring her decades of experience in the U.S. and abroad to aid in growing international trade support systems throughout the local community and the entire state of Idaho.

Jennifer Woods joined dignataries and members of Idaho's export community to officially open the Pacific Northwest Rural Export Center in Boise.

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