Ms. Leila Aridi Afas

Ms. Afas is responsible for developing and executing strategies to further Toyota‘s global business goals. She coordinates cross-functional and cross-cultural teams to understand, anticipate and navigate the ever-evolving policy environment and successfully advocate Toyota’s position. She also provides insight on geopolitical trends and macroeconomic developments to Toyota’s senior leadership.

Previously, Ms. Afas was appointed by President Obama to support the goal of doubling U.S. exports in five years and creating five million manufacturing jobs following the 2008 financial crisis. As the Director for Export Promotion at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, she collaborated closely with the private and public sectors at home and abroad to develop sustainable infrastructure projects in emerging economies by deploying U.S technologies and services.  

In a prior role with USTDA, Ms. Afas managed a multimillion-dollar portfolio of grant funds for critical infrastructure projects throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  Her career has spanned the public and private sectors including positions in the U.K. House of Commons, U.S. Trust Company in New York, Grant Thornton LLP and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.  Ms. Afas earned a master’s in international economics from Columbia University, where she was awarded a program assistant fellowship, and a B.A. (Hons) in English and Political Science from James Madison University.  She is frequently invited to speak at global business conferences and author articles and other thought pieces.

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