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Andrew Ranson, director of CITD

Creating Commerce: Center for International Trade continues legacy of global engagement

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Media Contact: Kelli Norton | Communication Specialist | 405-744-5496 |

When Andrew Ranson arrived at the Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development (CITD) in late 2019, he was given a broad objective: to make the CITD a more visible and valuable resource to the state of Oklahoma.

Like everyone across the globe, the pandemic impacted the CITD. And yet, the networks they developed during that time (often virtually) provide valuable avenues to generate impact, and their work continues gaining momentum.  

For example, the CITD has had the opportunity to take part in the leadership of statewide organizations such as the Oklahoma Governor’s International Team (OKGIT) and to assist in planning events like the Oklahoma Consular Summit and World Trade Conference. These engagements have led to meaningful and mutually productive relationships with leaders in the state and abroad.  

On the research side, the center’s body of work includes several meaningful pieces explaining important aspects of trade and competitiveness in Oklahoma. In addition, it has had opportunities to serve the state through research efforts on behalf of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. The CITD has also branched out to begin producing private sector-oriented 

The students working in the CITD have played a vital role in the research and client service aspects of the CITD. Through the generosity of their founder and namesake, former U.S. Congressman Wes Watkins, a Wes Watkins Global Trade Fellowship has been established. The fellowship allows students to work as graduate assistants in the center, learn the practice of international trade and conduct important research to grow the state’s economy.

The CITD has also assisted many Oklahoma small businesses to develop their international markets through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade specialty 
center unit.  

The world is complex, and to be successful, Oklahoma needs to continue the legacy of global engagement that OSU has led for decades. The CITD is excited about its expanding role as a valued resource to the state regarding international trade and competitiveness.  

The center looks forward to partnering with Oklahomans and our global partners to move Oklahoma forward. 

Photos By: The Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development (CITD)

Story By: Andrew Ranson | GLOBAL Magazine

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