Senior Fellow

Sean Connell
Senior Fellow

Sean Connell currently serves as director of business development and global competitiveness for the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County in Washington State. In this role he leads the organization’s investment attraction and government relations activities. He also chairs the government affairs committee of the Washington State China Relations Council.

Mr. Connell previously served as director for Japan and Korea at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and concurrently as executive director of the U.S.-Korea Business Council. In these roles, he spearheaded the U.S. Chamber’s policy initiatives on Japan and Korea. He was actively involved in coordinating the U.S. business community’s efforts to secure the successful negotiation and approval by the U.S. Congress of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

From 2011 to 2012, Mr. Connell was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Japan and visiting scholar at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry, which is affiliated with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In 2013 he was a POSCO Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center, and Japan Studies Visiting Fellow at the East-West Center in Washington. At the local government level, Mr. Connell has served as director of trade and economic development for Snohomish County in Washington State, a leading global center of the aerospace industry, and with the Washington State House of Representatives and Mie Prefectural Government in Japan.

Mr. Connell’s research and writing focuses on economic, innovation, and trade policy in Japan and Korea and their relations with the United States, including at the sub-national level. Mr. Connell holds a BA with high honors from Wesleyan University and an MA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, and he has studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.

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