SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an executive order redesignating Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis as his top representative to advance California’s economic interests abroad. Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis, a former U.S. Ambassador, has served as the Governor’s International Affairs and Trade Development Representative since 2019.
“As the world’s soon-to-be fourth largest economy, California punches above its weight on the international stage and boasts deep economic, cultural and historical ties to diverse regions around the globe,” said Governor Newsom. “Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis has been a critical partner in advancing the state’s interests abroad and I thank her for her leadership in ensuring that we continue to strengthen our global partnerships to drive economic growth and prosperity in California and beyond.”
California is poised to become the fourth largest economy in the world with $3.37 trillion in annual gross domestic product and is the second largest exporter by U.S. state.
“With our strong, diverse economy and rich global ties, California’s leadership on climate change, innovation, and commitment to democratic values reaches far beyond our borders,” said Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis. “I am honored to continue representing California on the global stage as we further strengthen our international partnerships, advance our economic interests, equitably serve all Californians, and meet the climate crisis.”
As the Governor’s International Affairs and Trade Development Representative, Lieutenant Governor Kounalakis chairs the International Affairs and Trade Development Interagency Committee, which serves as the coordinating body for the administration on the promotion and expansion of trade, investment and international relations.
A copy of today’s executive order can be found here.
California is a key gateway for international trade, with more jobs supported by international investment than any other state in the nation. The state exports to over 220 countries and accounts for 10 percent of the nation’s overall exported products.