Eileen Sánchez is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Associate Administrator for International Trade. She also serves on the SBA’s Management Board.
As head of the SBA’s Office of International Trade, Ms. Sánchez oversees the Agency’s broad range of international initiatives and programs, including trade affairs, trade policy, trade outreach, trade development and trade finance, to aid and assist small businesses to increase their ability to compete in international markets.
Ms. Sánchez responsibilities include bilateral and multilateral small business advocacy and economic diplomacy efforts to ensure small business interests are adequately represented in trade negotiations. She oversees SBA’s State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) awards program and SBA’s Export Finance programs including a field network of export finance managers located at U.S. Export Assistance Centers nationwide. She also is responsible for SBA’s participation in multi-agency U.S. global export initiatives and its public-private trade finance partnerships.
Ms. Sánchez has extensive experience in international banking, particularly in the areas of financial and strategic analysis, management and execution, and business start-up and realignment.
Before joining SBA in 2014, Ms. Sánchez served as vice president and international marketing manager of Specialty Banking at Los Angeles-based City National Bank. She developed, executed and managed strategic initiatives that competitively positioned several of its capabilities including international banking, trade finance, foreign exchange, corporate banking, capital finance, structured finance, agribusiness lending, healthcare lending, mortgage warehouse lending, franchise finance, municipal finance, and interest rate risk management.
In 2005, she co-founded the bank’s export finance group to enhance existing and develop new products and services to meet the growing demand for export finance and international trade assistance. She joined the bank in 2002 as a foreign exchange trader and advisor, providing trading and hedging services, developing strategic worldwide relationships and managing the bank’s online foreign exchange and deposit business.
Earlier in her 14-year commercial banking career, she managed the foreign exchange operations of Comerica Bank’s intellectual property law firm business in Los Angeles. Following Comerica’s $1.25 billion acquisition of Imperial Bancorp in 2001, she served as a key analyst supporting the conversion of Imperial’s systems and operations.
Ms. Sánchez, who is fluent in Spanish, has traveled and worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and Latin America.
Ms. Sánchez is an alumna of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California where she earned an executive master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in international business, with a minor in Spanish and Spanish literature.