Mr. Josh Halpern, aka The VanBassador, is the Chief Strategy Officer for the California International Trade Center (CITC). He leads CITC’s digital trade strategy with a mission to aggregate cutting-edge industry tools, expert training facilitation and government resources to empower small businesses to sell online, overseas.
Josh served as a U.S. Commercial Diplomat (Foreign Service Officer) leading the retail, franchise, logistics, luxury & cosmetics industry portfolios for the U.S. Embassy in China prior to being asked to return to Silicon Valley to launch the national eCommerce Innovation Lab for the U.S. Department of Commerce. During his tenure Josh leveraged private sector solutions to fast-track U.S. companies into overseas markets. His work inspired the creation of the Getting to Global Initiative.
In his work as Founder and Chairman of Getting to Global (GtG), Josh led engagement with 26 Congressional leaders, White House, Trade Promotion Organizations and Governors’ Trade Offices to articulate the value GtG’s sponsors such as Facebook, Google, eBay, Pitney Bowes and USPS bring to U.S. SMEs and the economy at large.
He speaks regularly at industry conferences and virtual events across the U.S. China LATAM and EU related to cross-border ecommerce optimization and has won U.S. State Department and Department of Commerce awards for his innovation in management and public-private ecommerce solutions.
He is the creator of the Culture Agents, (Shopify Hosted) an interactive education program promoting cross-cultural understanding among youth.
Mr. Halpern is a commissioned and tenured Foreign Service Officer. He holds a B.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts an MBA from INSEAD and an EMBA from Tsinghua University. He speaks Spanish and Chinese.
Connect with Josh on LinkedIn here.