Rod Hirsch currently serves as the Director of the Oakland Export Assistance Center with the U.S. Commercial Service. The U.S. Commercial Service, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, promotes the sale of U.S. products and services around the world. Prior to coming to Oakland in the fall of 2000, Rod worked for two years as an International Trade Specialist in the Export Assistance Center in Long Beach, California. Mr. Hirsch has served as the national team leader of the U.S. Department of
Commerce's Africa, Near East & South Asia Team, focusing on exports to Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, and India. Rod is an active member of the Africa Team, Energy Team Environmental Technology Team and Agribusiness Team. Mr. Hirsch has served on temporary duty assignments in the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassies in London, U.K., Abidjan, Ivory Coast and Accra, Ghana, and in Dakar, Senegal.
Prior to working with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr. Hirsch worked for the City of San Antonio, Texas as an International Affairs and Trade Specialist. Mr. Hirsch promoted bilateral trade between Mexico and the City of San Antonio, as well as overseeing the Sister Cities Program. While pursuing his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas, Rod worked as a graduate student intern at the International Trade Center, part of the Small Business Development Center, and the City of San Antonio's International Affairs Department.
Mr. Hirsch has additional federal service as a Desk Officer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Washington, DC opening Business and English Teaching Programs in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (Baltics, Russia, and Central Asia) from 1990 to 1994. In addition, Rod served a tour as an U.S. Peace Corps Agricultural Cooperatives/Business Development Volunteer in Togo, West Africa from 1988 to 1990.
Rod has two years of experience in the private sector as a Buyer in Boston, Massachusetts for one of New England's largest department store chains. Rod holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, with minors in Economics and French from Boston University (1986) and a Masters of Business Administration, with a concentration in International Business from the University of Texas (1997). Mr. Hirsch has studied at the Université de Grenoble, France, Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City and the University of Calgary, Canada.