Charles Blum, President

For four decades as a diplomat, trade negotiator, and consultant, Charles H. Blum has played an innovative role in American trade, competitiveness and investment issues.  He brings intellectual rigor, political acumen, and a sound understanding of law and economics to the solution of public policy and business problems. 

Mr. Blum has served as President of International Advisory Services Group since its founding in 1988.  A leading boutique consultancy, IAS has a proven track record of problem-solving, coalition-building and international entrepreneurship.  Under Mr. Blum’s leadership, IAS has focused on economies in transition ranging from the Czech Republic to China. It has developed commercial and investment projects in the steel, metals distribution, food production, industrial equipment, and energy.

Mr. Blum is active in the Solar Energy Industry Association and its Arizona affiliate, Ari-SEIA. He maintains close relations with a wide range of industrial and agricultural groups and frequently is called upon to address them on public policy issues.  Mr. Blum also has extensive contacts in the media and has prepared or delivered testimony on a range of trade and competitiveness issues before Congressional and Executive Branch agencies.

Mr. Blum has lectured or taught at such institutions as American University, Drexel University, Duquesne University, Eastern University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, the National Defense University, the Practicing Law Institute, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, the University of Pennsylvania as well as the Ecole National d’Administration in Paris. In addition, He has successfully mentored numerous American and international students.

Earlier, Mr. Blum had a 17-year career in the U.S. Government as a diplomat in the State Department and a trade negotiator in the White House Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, rising to the rank of Assistant USTR for Industrial Trade Policy (1983-5) and for Multilateral Negotiations (1985-8).  During his public service, Mr. Blum became recognized as an expert on the U.S. and global steel industries.  He played a key role in establishing the steel trigger price mechanism, an anti-dumping monitoring system in place from 1978 until 1981.  For his work on steel issues, he received the Department’s Superior Honor Award in 1979.  As AUSTR for Industry, he designed the voluntary restraint program (VRA) and other import programs, concluded more than 20 international agreements, represented the U.S. at more than a dozen meetings of the OECD Steel Committee, and developed the concept of the multilateral steel agreement (MSA).  As AUSTR for the Multilateral Trade Negotiations (1985-88), Mr. Blum helped launch the Uruguay Round of GATT negotiations.  He represented the U.S. at meetings of the preparatory committees, participated in the ministerial meeting in Punta del Este, carried out an extensive global public diplomacy campaign, and helped construct the coalition of developed and developing countries to support a more rigorous WTO system.   In both AUSTR positions, Mr. Blum worked closely with industry groups, private sector advisory committees, and Congressional staff.

Mr. Blum earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in history from Eastern College (now Eastern University) in 1966 and an M.A. in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970.  At Penn, he completed all requirements for a Ph.D. except the dissertation.  He also studied at the University of the Americas in Mexico and graduated with distinction from the State Department’s intensive economics training course.