Ben Ramirez III, Vice President and Executive Director, Center for Global Trade at the World Affairs Council of Austin; CEO of Cogitare Global, LLC. Ben has over 20 years of experience assisting the transformation of local companies into global competitors. Ben works with organizations to identify specific business goals and implementation strategies which match their objectives. His expertise is connecting chief executives and their teams to the resources and the tools they need to achieve sustainable growth in a continually changing global marketplace. Ben previously served as the International Economic Development Manager for the City of Austin. His responsibilities in this position included governmental initiatives related to international economic development, foreign direct investment, culture, and education. Ben was also appointed to the U.S. Department of State’s Speaker and Specialist Program where he provided presentations overseas on the economic impact resulting from developing and growing technology industry clusters.
Ben manages Foreign Trade Zone #183 of Central Texas with member companies’ annual exports totaling $250-$500 million. He was appointed to the Texas Camino Real District Export Council by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. He is a board member of CleanTX, the economic development and business association for clean technology. He also is on the board of Austin Sister Cities International. Ben is an entrepreneur advisor with Tech Ranch and serves as Vice President of the World Affairs Council of Austin and Executive Director of Austin’s Global Trade Center. Ben obtained a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from the University of Michigan, and a JD from the University of Toledo.