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Kathleen Motzenbecker named new Minnesota Trade Office director

Kathleen Motzenbecker has been named executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office, which offers services and programs to help companies do business around the world.

Motzenbecker previously had been director of membership for the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

She replaces Katie Clark Sieben, who was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in October. The Minnesota Trade Office is part of DEED.

State officials say Motzenbecker has plenty of foreign trade experience:

From 2005 to 2008 she worked at the Illinois Department of Commerce, supervising four Asian trade offices for the state and leading trade missions to China.

She also worked at the nonprofit Council on Foreign Relations, where she organized events with global leaders like Yasser Arafat, Benazir Bhutto and Henry Kissinger.

She’s also been founding director of the Center for Global Peace Through Commerce at Dominican University in Oak Park, Ill.; executive director of the U.S. Committee for UN Development Programme; and an assistant at the National Democratic Institute.

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