June 17, 2024
News Release 24-056
Contact: Jennifer Andberg, 202-205-1819
Rhonda K. Schmidtlein Becomes Chairman of U.S. International Trade Commission

Rhonda K. (Schnare) Schmidtlein today becomes Chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).  She succeeded outgoing Chairman David S. Johanson, whose term as Chair expired on June 16, 2024. Schmidtlein, the senior Democrat on the Commission, became Chairman by operation of law in the absence of a Presidential designation.

Chairman Schmidtlein was nominated to the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) by President Barack Obama on July 15, 2013; renominated on January 6, 2014; and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 6, 2014. She was sworn in as a member of the Commission on April 28, 2014, for the term expiring on December 16, 2021. She previously served as Chairman of the USITC from January 13, 2017, through June 16, 2018.

Chairman Schmidtlein served as an expert consultant to the World Bank for the two years immediately prior to her appointment. In that role, she provided expertise on projects that sought to strengthen audit and accounting regulation and oversight in countries with emerging markets.

From 2005-2011, Chairman Schmidtlein served as the founding Director of the Office of International Affairs created to implement the international obligations of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The PCAOB is a regulatory agency created by Congress in 2002 to protect the interests of investors in U.S. capital markets and further the public interest in independent audit reports of U.S. public companies. Before becoming the Director of the PCAOB’s Office of International Affairs, she served as Special Counsel to the Chairman of the PCAOB.

Chairman Schmidtlein served in the General Counsel’s office at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative from 1998 to 2003. In that role, she represented the United States as Head of Delegation and lead counsel in disputes before the World Trade Organization and provided legal counsel in connection with the negotiation of numerous international trade agreements.

Earlier in her career, Chairman Schmidtlein was an Honors Program trial attorney in the Civil Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She also was an adjunct professor for legal research and writing at the George Washington University’s National Law Center. She began her career as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Howard F. Sachs, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Chairman Schmidtlein holds a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a juris doctor degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Originally from Carrollton, Missouri, she resides in Washington D.C. with her husband, John, and two children.


The USITC is an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency that investigates and makes determinations in proceedings involving imports claimed to injure a domestic industry, violations of U.S. intellectual property rights, or other unfair methods of competition in connection with imported goods; provides independent analysis and information on tariffs, trade, and competitiveness to the President and the Congress; and maintains the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule.

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