Founder of the Stern Group, Inc.

A former chairwoman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and distinguished scholar, The Honorable Paula Stern founded The Stern Group, Inc. in 1988 and leads its practice, serving national and multi-national companies and organizations on business, political and technological issues that affect their competitiveness in a global economy.

As chairwoman of the ITC, from 1984 – 1986, and a commissioner for a nine-year term, Dr. Stern analyzed and voted on over 1,000 trade cases involving a broad range of industries and issues. At the time, she was the second highest-ranking woman in the executive branch of the U.S. Government.

A member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, Dr. Stern is on the Executive Committee of the Atlantic Council, the Boards of the Committee for Economic Development and the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Inter-American Dialogue, the Bretton Woods Committee and the Global Subsidies Initiative High-Level Advisory Group.

Dr. Stern also serves on the Boards of Directors of Avon Products, Inc. and RAC, Inc., and the International Advisory Board of Lafarge. She is a former Board member of Neiman Marcus, CBS, Duracell, Harcourt General, Hasbro, Scott Paper, Walmart, Westinghouse, and Avaya.

As both a member and senior advisor of the Trade Policy Sub-council of the bipartisan Competitiveness Policy Council, Dr. Stern prepared the Council’s proposals for reforming U.S. international economic policy making, delivered to the U.S. Congress and President in 1993, which guided the trade and export policy of the Clinton Administration. Dr. Stern was also member of President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations, and served as co-chair of the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee for the Attorney General and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division; Chair of the Advisory Committee of the U.S. Export-Import Bank; and as a presidentially appointed member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation.

Dr. Stern’s other service includes membership on the congressionally mandated National Academy of Sciences’ Panel on the Future Design and Implementation of U.S. National Security Export Controls, the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessment’s Advisory Panel on Technology, Innovation and U.S. Trade, and The Trilateral Commission.

Dr. Stern began her career in Washington in the 1970s as legislative assistant and senior legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, and also was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, where she wrote a definitive book on Congressional-Executive foreign policy making, titled Water’s Edge – Domestic Politics and the Making of American Foreign Policy. She was also a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Dr. Stern also held the Alkire Chair in International Business at Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Stern’s writings and commentary on foreign policy, trade-related topics and women’s issues have been widely published in scholarly and popular journals as well as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The LA Times, The Chicago Tribune and other mainstream media. She was named one of the top women influencing the American economy by MS Magazine and honored by The National Women’s Economic Alliance Foundation with its Directors’ Choice Award for Leadership. She is a frequent public speaker and television commentator in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Stern has a B.A. from Goucher College, an M.A. in Regional Studies from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in International Affairs from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and honorary degrees in Law from Goucher College and Commercial Science from Babson College. She is a recipient of the Alicia Patterson Journalism Award and the Joseph Papp Award for Racial Harmony from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.


Bachelor of Arts

Goucher College

Master of Arts

Harvard University

Ph.D. in International Affairs

Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy