Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

Ms. Alison Germak is the Director of Corporate Development at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution. 

Within OPIC’s Small & Medium Enterprise Finance department, Ms. Germak leads a team responsible for counseling U.S. firms pursuing investments in over 100 emerging market countries.  Since joining OPIC in 2004, she has originated successful project financings in sectors such as agribusiness, franchising, energy, tech, education, and health.  Additionally, Ms. Germak chairs OPIC’s Innovative Financial Intermediaries Program (IFIP), which capitalizes private equity funds and other financial intermediaries investing in impactful and innovative emerging markets enterprises.  Ms. Germak is a frequent presenter at trade and investment conferences and conducts various training seminars.

Ms. Germak holds a M.A. in International Commerce and Policy with an emphasis in Global Business from George Mason University’s School of Policy and Government and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Susquehanna University. 

Ms. Alison J. Germak,
Director of Corporate Development, OPIC

Ms. Alison J. Germak, Director of Corporate Development, OPIC


US Export-Import Bank

Michael K. Jackson serves as an Export Finance Manager at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), an independent agency of the federal government. As team leader on the Minority and Women-Owned Business team, which is housed in EXIM’s Office of Small Business, he leads the Bank’s outreach efforts to Asian American and veteran-owned businesses.

Prior his current assignment, Mr. Jackson managed EXIM’s strategic partnerships with local, state and regional economic development organizations (EDOs). As Program Director of the City/State Marketing Partners program, he was instrumental in expanding that program’s membership as well as creating its replacement - the Regional Export Promotion Program (REPP). Always seeking to broaden and deepen his international trade expertise, Mr. Jackson also completed two temporary duty assignments during his tenure at EXIM. As a Business Development Officer in EXIM’s Global Business Division, he managed the Turkey, Middle East and South & Central Asia portfolio. As a Financial Economist in the Country Risk & Economic Analysis Division, he helped managed the Caribbean and Central America portfolio with a specific focus on Caribbean economies.

Immediately prior to joining EXIM, Mr. Jackson served as an Economic Development Specialist and the District International Trade Officer with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Baltimore, MD District Office. In this role he cultivated relationships with other federal agencies as well as key business, civic community, state and local government partners and collaborated with them to conduct international trade workshops and seminars throughout the state of Maryland.


Prior to beginning his career with the federal government, Mr. Jackson spent over a decade in the private sector and held sales and marketing positions with several Fortune 500 corporations in the banking and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. His past professional experience also includes owning and operating a fitness center franchise. Mr. Jackson is a proud veteran of the United States Air Force and a native of the Caribbean. As a Caribbean American, he is dedicated to promoting international trade and investment as a regional economic growth strategy in the U.S. as well as in the Caribbean. 

Mr. Jackson earned an MBA in International Business from American Intercontinental University- Atlanta, GA and a B.S. in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland’s UMUC-Europe campus in Heidelberg, Germany.  He holds the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) and the ATD (formerly ASTD) Master Trainer credentials. 

Mr. Jackson’s life is one marked by service. He serves as a small group leader at his local church; and he is an active member of several professional associations, including NASBITE International and the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). 

Michael K. Jackson, Export Finance Manager at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)

Michael K. Jackson, Export Finance Manager at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM)



Kellee James is Founder and CEO of Mercaris, a market data service & on-line trading platform for organic and non-GMO grains and oilseeds. Prior to Mercaris, Kellee spent five years at the start-up company Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental derivatives. In 2009 she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow and was Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine ’40 under 40’ rising leader.

Previously, Kellee worked with commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. Kellee is an Aspen Institute Catto Environmental Fellow and has also served on the board of Net Impact, a membership organization of more than 12,000 MBA professionals committed to sustainability through corporate responsibility. Kellee received her MBA and MA in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C., and completed a BA in Spanish from the University of Kentucky.

Kellee James, Founder & CEO of Mercaris

Kellee James, Founder & CEO of Mercaris