International Trade Exec Draws on JWU Education

Andrew has helped secure billions of dollars in international trade and negotiated with Fortune 500’s. Every day, he uses what he learned at Johnson & Wales University's MBA Program.

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Andrew Gelfuso ’01
Executive Director, The International Gateway,
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center

Preparing for International Trade Career
Ever since he studied abroad in Vietnam and India, Andrew wanted to work in international trade. And he knew he would get the best training at JWU.

"There are a few professors that really stood out for me, including Dr. Portnyagin,” Andrew recalls. He remembers going over case studies in his class, learning how multinational corporations are organized.

"That came in pretty useful when I worked in the Department of Commerce!”

Practical Business Training
“The professors each brought their real world life and business experiences to the classroom, he says. “I think that's what sets apart the JWU education I received. It wasn't purely academics, it was a practical education.”

Andrew hit the ground running when he graduated, joining the US Department of Commerce. He helped secure $35 billion dollars worth of new business in Asia, developing successful advocacy strategies for Fortune 500 firms. 

He also managed commercial sections of US embassies, promoting trade agreements with Singapore and Thailand.

Global Education at JWU 
Andrew passed the Foreign Service Exam, but he chose to stay in the US with his wife and daughter. Instead, he took on his role at the International Gateway, the trade arm of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

Dealing with international relations every day, he says he still draws on his graduate experience at JWU.

“My classmates from around the world each brought their own particular worldview to the classroom,” he says. “It really was a great experience for me."