Editor’s note: This story was corrected at 12:45 p.m. on June 5, 2018. A previous version included an incorrect address for the Adirondack Trust Mabee Office Building.
SARATOGA COUNTY — The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership has hired a former U.S. government official who helped develope and recommend a trade policy to the former president of the United States.
The economic development agency hired Mary Estelle Ryckman as a global markets adviser, business retention and expansion specialist.
Ryckman spent 30 years developing trade and investment policy and negotiating international agreements in a variety of senior U.S. government positions.
Marty Vanags, president of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, said having Ryckman on staff will be helpful.
“Exporting is a way that companies can grow revenue and expand,” he said. “Increasing jobs and capital investment falls within our mission.”
Vanags said Ryckman moved to Saratoga Springs after retiring.
“I wasn’t out looking for this, but when I was introduced to her, I felt it was a great opportunity for businesses in the county who export or are interested in exporting,” he said.
While Vanags didn’t know specifically how many businesses in Saratoga County export their goods to other countries, he said, “It’s a lot more than people think.”
In her part-time position, which pays no more than a $17,000 annual salary, Ryckman will provide guidance to assist businesses in addressing changes in nationwide policies affecting global trade.
“Mary’s expertise in international trade and investment will be invaluable to Saratoga County companies involved or interested in exporting products to grow their businesses,” Vanags said in a prepared statement. “As U.S. policies affecting foreign trade undergo a rapid shift, her proven leadership and experience enable us to provide vital support to the local business community.”
During her career at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Ryckman held numerous positions, including senior policy adviser, assistant U.S. trade representative for trade and development, and deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for Canada, according to Vanags.
Ryckman aided in improving Cuban relations alongside former President Barack Obama, and she developed strategic policy priorities for the National Export Initiative and the Global Development Strategy, according to a prepared statement. She was also a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
On June 20, Ryckman will speak at a League of Women Voters of Saratoga County meeting. She will address topics related to foreign trade agreements and tariffs.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Adirondack Trust Mabee Office Building Community Room, 35 Church St. in Saratoga Springs.
She will also represent Saratoga County as part of the New York delegation at the Select USA Investment Summit, which will be held in Washington on June 20-22.