Global Trade Watch Staff Directory

Lori Wallach, Director, Global Trade Watch

Lori Wallach is the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. A 25-year veteran of congressional trade battles starting with the 1990s fight over NAFTA, she was named to the “Politico’s 50” list of thinkers, doers and visionaries transforming American politics in 2016 for her leadership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership debate. Wallach is an internationally recognized expert on trade with experience advocating in Congress and foreign parliaments, trade negotiations, courts, government agencies, the media and in the streets. Dubbed “the Trade Debate’s Guerrilla Warrior” in a National Journal profile and "Ralph Nader with a sense of humor" in a Wall Street Journal profile, she combines a lawyer’s expertise on the terms and outcomes of agreements with insight from the front lines of trade debates. Wallach’s specialty is translating arcane trade issues into accessible language.

Wallach has testified on NAFTA, WTO, and other globalization issues before 30 congressional committees and appeared as a trade commentator on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ABC, Bloomberg, PBS, NPR and numerous foreign outlets. She has been published and quoted in The New York TimesThe EconomistForbesThe Washington PostUSA Today, the Financial Times, and more. A lawyer who has worked in television news and on political campaigns, Wallach is well-informed about the role trade issues played in the 2016 election and the implications for the Trump presidency and 2018 congressional elections as the voters demand action on trade.

Books she has written on trade include The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority (2013) and Whose Trade Organization? A Comprehensive Guide to the WTO (2004) and she has contributed to numerous anthologies. She was recently one of three panelists, alongside Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the C-20 Summit titled “Civil 20 Dialogue with the G20 Presidency” which addressed the most pressing globalization challenges of the 2017 G20 Summit.

Wallach was a founder of the Citizens Trade Campaign, a U.S. national coalition of consumer, labor, environmental, family farm, religious, and civil rights groups representing over 11 million Americans, and serves on its board. Wallach is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School.

Read and download this biography (pdf), or see Lori's media profile page.

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Matthew Groch, Deputy Director

Matthew Groch is Deputy Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. After graduating, Groch held a variety of positions in the House of Representatives for a Democratic Member of Congress and worked on several federal campaigns. Prior to joining Public Citizen, he was Vice President of TruBlu Politics, a Democratic direct-mail and campaign consulting firm. In addition to his campaign and consulting experience, Groch served as Project Coordinator to Dr. Stanley Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, one of the world's premier opinion research and strategic consulting firms. There he assisted with public opinion research projects for campaigns and clients all over the globe while coordinating the production of Dr. Greenberg and James Carville's New York Times Best Seller It's the Middle Class Stupid! Groch graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drew University in 2008 with a B.A. in Political Science.

Melinda St. Louis, Director of International Campaigns

Melinda St. Louis is International Campaigns Director with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. She monitors U.S. trade negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as regional and bilateral trade and investment talks, including the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). For years she has coordinated with civil society partners around the globe to promote the public interest in the context of international commercial and investment agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the defeated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Prior to joining Public Citizen, for more than a decade, St. Louis was a leading advocate and campaigner on global economic justice issues, playing leadership roles in the Jubilee USA Network, Witness for Peace, and the Campaign for Labor Rights, among other grassroots advocacy organizations. St. Louis has lived and worked in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Latin America Working Group. She received an M.P.P. in International Policy and Development from Georgetown University.

Rose Espinola, National Field Director

Rose Espinola is National Field Director for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Rose gets winning: They have been an organizer on successful campaigns ranging from unionization fights to fossil fuel divestment. They first started organizing with el Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA), and have organized with Unite Here, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, School of Americas Watch, and the New Organizing Institute. Most recently, Rose managed Planned Parenthood’s Latinx field program and served as Virginia State Field Director for the Bernie campaign. Rose graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Latin American and Latinx Studies. While at Penn, they also completed coursework at the Wharton Business School and studied abroad at the University of Havana.

JaRel Clay, Social Media and Digital Director

JaRel Clay is the Digital Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, where he leads the division’s digital organizing and online strategy efforts. Prior to joining Public Citizen, Clay developed and implemented online engagement and email marketing strategies for the Center for a New American Security, a defense and national security think tank. He also supported the Center’s media relations efforts, securing placements in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Reuters, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. Clay supported the public affairs practice at Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations agency. He helped carryout public affairs initiatives for Edelman’s energy, automotive and natural resources clients. His op-ed placements often focused on national security and energy policy issues. Clay holds a master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Kent State University.

Justin Fisk, Senior Researcher

Justin Fisk is the Senior Researcher for Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch where he leads research efforts on international trade developments. Prior to joining Global Trade Watch, Fisk was the policy associate of federal and international affairs at the Council of State Governments, the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. There, he assisted states in improving their export promotion programs designed to help small businesses export. Fisk has also held a variety of full-time internships at the trade law firm Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg; the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee at the Department of Commerce; the Office of Western Hemisphere at the United States Trade Representative’s Office; and the Technology and Public Policy Program and the Center for International and Strategic Studies. Fisk is a graduate of The George Washington University where he obtained a Master’s in International Affairs. He earned his B.A. at the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

Vilas Pathikonda, Senior Research Fellow

Vilas Pathikonda is the Senior Research Fellow with Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. He focuses on strategic research projects that strengthen GTW’s campaigns. Prior to joining GTW, he served as Director of Research and Strategy at GoodWeave International, a pioneering social enterprise combating child labor in the textiles and apparel industry. Prior to that, he was a consultant on international trade at The World Bank, focusing on global value chains, industrial policy and export development. Pathikonda started his career managing public opinion research for major political campaigns, advocacy groups and international brands at the strategic communications firm, Penn Schoen Berland. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Duke University and a Master’s in International Economic Policy from Columbia.

Elias Flamenco Rivera, Program Associate

Elias is the Program Associate for Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Prior to joining GTW, Elias served as Programs Associate for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), a nonprofit affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win federation where he worked on various issue-based campaigns for the betterment of working families, such as civic participation and workers’ rights. In 2015, he was selected as Public Policy Fellow by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. As a Public Policy Fellow, Elias served at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and at the Office of Congressman Chris Van Hollen. He attended Towson University, where he earned a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Anthropology.

Melanie Foley, International Campaigns Coordinator

As the International Campaigns Coordinator, Melanie Foley helps Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch by implementing outreach and coalition building strategies to bolster the international campaign’s public education work. She joined GTW in the Summer of 2013 as a Legislative Assistant and Scheduler, and has assisted as manager for GTW’s development program and the GTW intern team. Before that, as a Legislative Policy and Research Assistant for the environmental non-profit, Appalachian Voices, she educated congressional offices and wrote extensively on big coal's efforts to subvert regulatory measures against mountaintop removal coal mining. During college, she worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative intern, and on the Potomac River as an outdoor adventure sports instructor. She attended the University of Maryland, where she earned a B.A. in Government and Politics and a Master's in Public Policy.

Andi Petrovic, Field Organizer

Andi Petrovic is a Field Organizer for Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. She works closely with local and national partners to organize on trade-related issues. Prior to working on the Replace NAFTA campaign, Andi worked on multiple progressive candidate campaigns. She helped launch and manage the National Association of Diverse Consultants. She also served as a summer fellow at Solidarity Strategies and as a congressional intern with the House of Representatives.