NEW YORK, June 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), a non-profit business organization dedicated to forging relationships and promoting dialogue between business and government leaders across the globe, announced today that it has elected James E. Nevels as a director and as Chair of the Board.  “I feel incredibly privileged to take over this role at a pivotal time in our society, and I am honored to help foster mutually beneficial relationships between leaders all around the world,” said Nevels. “The BCIU member network enables growth opportunities by facilitating connections and offering strategic expertise that will undoubtedly transform the next era of international trade and investment, and I’m excited to be a part of that.” In addition to electing Mr. Nevels as a director and Chair, the board also appointed Ambassador Susan C. Schwab, Jeffery B. Kratz, and Kara Carscaden as new directors.

“Jim has an established track record as an effective leader and advisor proven by the successful management of his firm, The Swarthmore Group, which has grown to be the oldest active minority-owned registered investment advisor headquartered in Pennsylvania, along with his years of service on the boards of notable organizations,” said BCIU Vice Chair Nelson Cunningham. “He is a visionary who leads with intent and values: loyalty, integrity, and diversity. Jim’s wealth of experience makes him the right person to continue to position BCIU as a trustworthy partner in helping entities solve the world’s most pressing challenges.  Additionally, the board and I are thrilled to welcome Ambassador Susan Schwab, whose global credibility, policy leadership and reputation will be an enormous asset.”

In his new role as Chair, Nevels will join a seasoned group of professionals with global knowledge and expertise across a range of geographies and industrial sectors. He will leverage his securities and investment knowledge and network of contacts to continue to foster and strengthen relationships between business and government leaders, facilitating dialogue and initiatives that expand international commerce, and encourage economic development worldwide.

James E. Nevels has more than three decades of experience in the securities and investment industry and in senior corporate board positions. He is CEO and Chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm that he founded in 1991, and he currently sits on the Board of Directors for Alcoa Corporation and WestRock. Mr. Nevels also served as Chairman (2009-2015) and Lead Independent Director (2015-2017) of The Hershey Company. In addition to being honored with multiple awards throughout his career, he was also appointed by President George W. Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation serving a three-year term starting in 2004.

Ambassador Susan C. Schwab served as U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative from 2005-2009, and serves on the corporate boards of Marriott International, Inc., FedEx Corporation, and Caterpillar Inc., and recently completed board service at The Boeing Company. She is a Strategic Advisor at Mayer Brown and Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy where she had previously served as Dean and President of the University System of Maryland Foundation.

Ms. Kara Carscaden serves as the Vice President, Global Affairs at The Estee Lauder Companies, where she oversees the global team and brings to the board a breath of knowledge from her experience in public relations, consulting, political and government positions. Mr. Jeffrey Kratz serves as the Vice President, Global Public Affairs at Amazon Web Services, where he applies his industry leadership to engage government leaders on the use of cloud technologies.

“Jim is the ideal leader to chair BCIU, and Susan’s unique global stature will elevate the organization further.  Kara and Jeff bring smart thinking and continue the important tradition of Estee Lauder’s and AWS’s board leadership at BCIU, and we thank Nelson for steering us through one of the most consequential periods in our 65 year history,” said CEO Peter Tichansky.

About BCIU

The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) is a nonprofit organization of experts, educators, and advisors working to expand international trade and commerce for businesses and governments around the world. BCIU is deeply connected and trusted by 200 member companies, including many global multinationals, and maintains an unparalleled network of government relationships in every corner of the world. For sixty-five years, they have believed in progress and shaping the future by addressing some of the most complex global challenges, from global health to cybersecurity to agricultural sustainability. Through bespoke, transformative services, BCIU provides ways for its partners to deepen economic cooperation and enhance global growth across markets. 


Pete Nonis

The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU)


[email protected]

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SOURCE The Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU)