August 4, 2017
WASHINGTON – Ray Willets Washburne was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the eleventh President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses expand into developing markets.
Nominated for the OPIC presidency by President Donald J. Trump on June 5, 2017, Mr. Washburne was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 27, 2017 and by the full U. S. Senate on August 3, 2017.
“I will use my experience to make OPIC more efficient while being a good steward of the American taxpayer’s dollar. I’ve seen firsthand how American innovation and American capital can impact developing countries. America’s entrepreneurial spirit can improve the wellbeing of people living in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries,” Mr. Washburne said in his nomination statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 11, 2017.
“I am honored that President Trump has appointed me to further OPIC’s role in helping U.S. businesses expand into the global economy. OPIC’s tools help these U.S. businesses catalyze their investments which play a critical role for economic growth and stability in the developing world. I am ready to lead OPIC in continuing its transformative impact across a number of sectors in emerging markets,” he said.
Mr. Washburne has a long history working in business, and has held several executive positions. Most recently, he served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Holdings, a private real estate investment company based in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Washburne co-founded and co-owned M Crowd Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Mi Cocina, Taco Diner, and The Mercury restaurants, with various locations around the U.S. Additionally, he served as the President and Managing Director of Highland Park Village in Dallas.
A graduate of Southern Methodist University, he served as an adjunct professor at the University’s Cox School of Business.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.