Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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Mary Beth Goodman

Non-Resident Fellow


Mary Beth Goodman is a senior fellow with the Digital Impact and Governance Initiative (DIGI) at New America. She is an international development and policy expert who has worked with governments, civil society organizations, the private sector and international institutions on a variety of issues ranging from social justice, governance and anticorruption to global health and humanitarian response.

Goodman served as the Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director for Development, Democracy and Humanitarian Affairs at the White House, where she was responsible for advising the President and National Security Advisor, and coordinating policy issues and strategies across the U.S. Government on a wide range of issues. Ms. Goodman previously served as a U.S. diplomat including in a variety of overseas postings and in Washington, D.C. During her career, she developed and negotiated economic, trade, extractives, energy, and infrastructure agreements and worked on a broad range of international economic and development initiatives.

While working with the World Bank, Ms. Goodman coordinated efforts to recuperate assets stolen and plundered through grand corruption. She worked with governments, financial centers and civil society to negotiate the recovery and return of stolen assets.

Previously, Ms. Goodman practiced international trade law and worked as an attorney- advisor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the Department of Homeland Security. She participated in the negotiations of several free trade agreements and oversaw the implementation of preferential trade programs for Africa and the Caribbean. She advised clients on the classification and rules of origin for imported goods as well as compliance with retaliatory trade sanctions.

Ms. Goodman earned an L.L.M. in International Law; Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Truman National Security Project and a certified mediator in conflict resolution. As a passionate advocate for civil society, Ms. Goodman serves on several boards of directors for non-profit organizations.

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