Meet Empire State Development’s Foreign Office Directors

Our global network of trade directors provides local expertise for the markets they represent by conducting customized research, facilitating connections and identifying potential distributors and agents for New York companies looking to export their products and services globally. They also serve as liaisons between Empire State Development and potential foreign investors. Global NY’s foreign office directors are currently located in Africa, Canada, the Caribbean region, China, Europe, India, Israel, Mexico, South America and Taiwan.

 

Richard Zurba

Global NY Director, Africa - Trade

Richard is the Director of Zurcom International (Pty) Ltd, the contracted representative for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers, representing ESD/Global NY in sub-Saharan Africa since 1999. Richard came to Africa in 1993, and worked on humanitarian projects in the D. R. Congo for World Vision Relief before moving to South Africa in 1996 as an export manager selling into 20 African countries.  In 1999, Richard opened the Great Lakes St Lawrence Governors & Premiers Africa Trade Office in Johannesburg, representing several U.S. state governments in international business development.  Richard is Coordinator for the IBG Global partnership, providing trade network services through 22 partner companies in 56 countries servicing more than 150 country markets. Zurcom has worked with approximately 3,700 companies on international trade projects, with staff in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Richard has a B.A. and M.A. in International Relations (University of Alberta; the London School of Economics) and an M.B.A. in International Business (University of Western Ontario).  Prior to his move to Africa, Richard led development projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Austria, Malawi and the Bahamas.  
 

 

Maggie Liu & Atanu Chowdhury

Global NY Director, Canada - Trade & Investment

Research On Investment is Empire State Development’s trade and investment attraction representative in Canada. Maggie and Atanu manage this portfolio out of ROI’s Toronto and Montreal offices.

Headshot of Miranda Dai, Global NY Director, China

 

Miranda Dai

Global NY Director, China - Trade & Investment

Miranda Dai joined the Tractus China office in 2021 and oversees FDI and Trade efforts for different regions. She serves Chinese companies for site selection preparation outside of China and assists foreign SMEs with tailored export services for the Chinese market including market entry, partner search, trade mission, etc. Before joining Tractus, she worked as a business analyst for a worldwide leading consulting firm. She had extensive research experience in broad areas including manufacturing, advanced auto technology, TMT, pharmaceuticals, finance, insurance, etc. Before that, she was a manager at the private banking department at the Development Bank of Singapore. Miranda has her master’s degree in finance from Tulane University and her bachelor’s degree in economics from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics. Miranda is also a Financial Risk Manager, certified by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP).

Headshot of Marine L’Herrou, Global NY Director, Europe

 

Marine L’Herrou

Global NY Director, Europe - Investment

Marine L’Herrou is Project Manager-Senior Consultant at OCO Global. ​ Based in Paris, she specializes in Lead Generation for FDI attraction and she serves as the FDI Director, Europe for Empire State Development. She is also a consultant for InvestHK in France (Hong Kong). In these roles, Marine advises French and European companies in their investment/set-up and development projects in New York and Hong Kong. ​

Before joining OCO Global, Marine spent several years abroad: as the account manager at Camper in Spain and in Mainland China, where she worked for a popular e-commerce grocery store, managing the sales and business development operations in Shanghai. ​Prior to joining OCO Global, Marine was Head of Business Development at a consulting company and the EU representative for a regional Chinese Investment promotion bureau to head up lead generation and support private firms and research institutes investing in Mainland China. ​​

As a French national, Marine holds a Master’s degree in “Europe-Asia International Business”, a Bachelor’s in Export and International Negotiation and a degree (HSK5) in Chinese from Shanghai Jiaotong and Qingdao Universities. Marine is fluent in French, English, and Spanish; she also speaks Chinese (mandarin – HSK5).

Headshot of Dylan Yeates, Global NY Director, Europe

Dylan Yeates

Global NY Director, Europe - Trade

Dylan joined OCO Global 5 years ago as an International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment consultant and manages the trade portfolio for ESD’s Europe office.

With extensive experience in strategy development, Dylan supports both private companies and government entities, helping them to develop and realise their international growth plans. Dylan has previously collaborated with a number of leading Trade and Investment promotion agencies throughout Europe. This includes the UKs Department for International Trade, Germany Trade and Invest, Business France and Switzerland Global Enterprise, among others. In addition, he has also worked with developing economies in North Africa, on various aspects of strategy and capacity development.

Dylan is based in Belfast, the United Kingdom, and earned a first-class honours degree in Economics and Finance, from Queens University.

Headshot of Antrikch Rastogi, Global NY Director, India

 

Antrikch Rastogi

Global NY Director, India - Trade & Investment

Mr. Antrikch Rastogi is a Senior Research Analyst with Tractus Asia and is representing the New York State Empire State Development (ESD) in India for investment attraction and trade promotion. Mr. Rastogi has over eight years of experience in economic development, cross-border business and investment, bilateral trade, technical collaboration, Joint venture, and developing government relations, where he advised public and private sector organizations on expansion strategies.

Before joining Tractus, Antrikch worked as Manager for the Commercial Wing of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea known as KOTRA. In this role, he worked directly with the C-Suite levels to support Korean companies in their market research, market entry strategies as well as fundraising for their activities in India. He holds his bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication.

 

Gerry Stoch

Global NY Director, Israel - Trade & Investment

Gerry has been a business and economic development consultant based in Israel—and  since 1998,  Director of Global NY’s Office in Israel promoting exports from New York State to Israel and foreign direct investment from Israel to New York.  In this role, Gerry has organized several Technology Cooperation Agreements between the State of New York and Israel.  He has led several delegations of Israeli companies to New York and hosted visiting delegations. Most recently, he hosted a Global NY delegation, identifying potential distributors and import partners.  Eight of the 10 companies signed agreements within six months.  From 2003-2010, Gerry also managed the back office of a major Private Equity Fund. Gerry  works closely with foreign investors, including U.S.-based semiconductor designer, Advanced Micro Devices. Gerry is a board member of the Friends of the Volcani Institute, the Israeli Government’s arm for Agricultural Research and Development and International cooperation, the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce in Tel Aviv and the Orthodox Chamber of Commerce. Gerry previously worked for the Israeli Government Ministry of Finance, both in Israel and in the U.S. He has an M.S. in Agricultural Economics and Management from the Hebrew University at Rehovot and a B.A. in Economics and Psychology from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

 

Efren Flores Rangel

Global NY Director, Mexico - Trade

Efren holds degrees from California State University Northridge and  ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico. As an international business development consultant, he travels widely throughout the U.S. and Latin America addressing marketing strategies and opportunities to do business in Mexico. He’s consulted with federal and state governments in Mexico and overseas, as a representative of the World Trade Organization for the Ministry of Economy, a member of APEC negotiation board and a senior trade specialist for a recognized consulting firm. He is General Director of Global Business Partners Mexico, S.C., a firm he founded in 2006. Efren has participated in 45 trade missions to Mexico and has worked with more than 1,500 U.S companies from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, New York and Wisconsin as well as European companies to establish business ties in Mexico. He’s been recognized for skills in negotiation, international business development, business culture, international trade and investment, market strategy, strategic planning, international sales and business management. Efren’s expertise spans a range of industry sectors including: automotive, environmental, agricultural products and equipment, heavy machinery, telecommunications, civil and general security, medical, plastics and chemicals.

Headshot of Veronica Medina, Global NY Director, South America - Argentina, Chile, Colombia, & Peru

 

Veronica Medina

Global NY Director, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru - Trade

Veronica Medina is the Founder and CEO of BusinessHub Consultants, one of South America´s leading international business development firms which she founded in 2014.  BusinessHub is headquartered in Chile and has an office in Peru. Ms. Medina has over 25 years of experience in international business development and has assisted many governments and companies achieve their international trade and investment objectives in Latin America.  Her industry experience includes agriculture, F&B, clean tech, mining, infrastructure, fintech, ICT, innovation & technology, and renewable energy, among many others. Her previous positions included COO of TradeChile, European Manager for the Colorado Trade Office in London, Medical Information Manager at Gensia Europe Ltd., Drug Surveillance Officer for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and Events Organizer at the British Red Cross.  She has a Certificate in International Trade from the World Trade Center Denver & Metropolitan State College in Colorado. In addition, she earned her Masters of Science in Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Dallas (USA). Veronica has been a foreign office director for ESD since 2017 helping New York companies to grow their export to South America.

Headshot of Claudia Maria Tomaselli, Global NY Director, Brazil

Claudia Maria Tomaselli

Global NY Director, Brazil - Trade

Founder and COO of Tomaselli & Associados, Claudia Tomaselli is an internationalist with over 20 years' experience in business development and commercial diplomacy. TA Consulting specializes in providing market entry or expansion services to small and medium-sized businesses and investors seeking export success in Brazil.

Prior to founding TA Consulting, Ms. Tomaselli held the following positions: Partner Director at TVZ International (2004-2022); Assistant to the Director and Deputy Director with the Council of Great Lakes Governors' Trade Office in Brazil (1997-2004); Special Assistant to the Director of the US Commercial Center and Trade Event Assistant at the US & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS-US Consul General in São Paulo) (1995-1997); Founder and Director of CMT Design (1990-1995), a trade promotional agency.

Claudia, who has participated as Speaker and Panelist at innumerous Trade Conferences and Webinars, brings to TA Consulting a track record of successful trade missions and a solid background in matching prospective partners. Her experience in providing customized services to Economic Development Agencies, Diplomatic Organizations, and Private Companies gives her the confidence to successfully assist organizations and companies interested in exploring the opportunities offered by the Brazilian market.

Claudia received Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication and Industrial Design from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP) in São Paulo, Brazil.  In addition to her native Portuguese, Claudia is fluent in English and is conversant in French, Italian, and Spanish.

headshot of Nikki Pong, Global NY director Taiwan

Nikki Pong

Global NY Director, Taiwan – Trade and Investment

Nikki Pong, a consultant with Tractus Asia focuses on investment attraction and trade promotion within Taiwan. With a robust background in business development, end-to-end supply chain and project management, Nikki specializes in driving direct investments and facilitating cross-border trade initiatives. Her expertise spans diverse industries, including consumer electronics, networking, AIoT, and medical devices, robotics, and data centers, across healthcare, security, manufacturing, software, and telecommunications. Nikki's past experience included advising on business strategies, market opportunities, productization, facilitating technical and business collaborations, and risk management in the US, Europe, and SEA regions. Leveraging this wealth of experience from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises, Nikki plays a pivotal role in nurturing robust business ties between the US and Taiwan. Nikki has an engineering master's degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Maryland.