This month Don Clark, Beaman Professor of Business, steps down after four years as Executive Vice President of the International Trade and Finance Association.� Founded in 1988, IT&FA is a multidisciplinary association for academics and professionals interested in conducting research in international trade and finance.� It currently has 200 members from 40 countries, with members representing universities, central banks, trade commissions, other government organizations, and other international organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Like most such associations, IT&FA is run by its executive vice president.� Dr. Clark’s most time-consuming and challenging duties involved locating a site, host, sponsors, and accommodations for IT&FA’s annual conference.� The four most recent ones took place in Beer-Sheva, Israel; Pisa, Italy; Montreal, Canada; and Kayseri, Turkey.� Dr. Clark also organized the program of research sessions and presided over the Board of Directors meetings at those conferences.�
IT&FA has a second conference in conjunction with the Allied Social Science Association meetings every January.� His job as Executive Vice President made him an ASSA executive officer, which got him a seat at that highly prestigious board meeting.� It also allowed him to organize ASSA sessions, and these always featured prominent international trade economists from US and international universities.�
Dr. Clark’s involvement with the organization has been long-lived, and he served as President of IT&FA during 2009.� Other past presidents have come from places like UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the US Department of Labor.
Economics department head Bill Neilson said, “Dr. Clark has taken on a highly visible, prestigious, but difficult job for four years.� International conferences are notoriously challenging to arrange, and his ability to host them on three continents is a testament to his abilities.� Our department has been the beneficiary of all of his hard work through the visibility he has brought to UTK and the network he has generated for our students.� We are extremely grateful for all that he has done for us through IT&FA.� Personally, I cannot believe that they let him go, but I look forward to seeing where he devotes his energy next.”
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