Maryse Robert

Director of the Department of Economic Development

Organization of American States (OAS)

Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC)


Maryse Robert is director of the Department of Economic Development in the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development at the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS). Her department promotes inclusive economic development in OAS Member States through policy dialogue, institutional strengthening and capacity building to facilitate the exchange of experiences and successful practices particularly through horizontal cooperation. It also acts as technical secretariat for hemispheric ministerial and high-level meetings in the areas of science and technology, competitiveness, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), tourism, and culture. 

Dr. Robert leads the implementation of several initiatives with technology partners such as Meta/Facebook/WhatApps to deliver customized virtual training programs for MSMEs to expand their digital footprint and increase their internationalization efforts and opportunities for engaging in e-commerce. These partnerships also include a train-the-trainer program for the authorities in charge of supporting the MSME sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Dr. Robert, a Canadian national and an economist with training in international trade law, holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University) and a Master’s degree in applied economics from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) (Montreal, Canada). She has taught at the University of Barcelona, Georgetown University, George Mason University, and the University of the West Indies. She has authored numerous studies on trade, development, and inequality. Before joining the OAS, she worked at the World Bank, the U.N., and in the private sector on telecom issues. ‘

Nicole Griensewic

Executive Director

Region Nine Development Commission in Minnesota


Griensewic has served as Executive Director of Region Nine Development Commission since 2012. As executive director, Griensewic has made it a priority to foster collaboration and engagement by sharing Region Nine’s story both regionally and globally. Griensewic is an active board and committee member for multiple organizations throughout Minnesota. Griensewic is the immediate past President of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, and is the first female to chair the Executive Committee for the University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies, where she served as chair of the Governance Committee. Griensewic also served as secretary of Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota’s Governing Board of Directors and chaired the Governance Committee and currently serves as an advisory board member for South Central College’s Center for Agriculture. She serves on the executive committee for the MACS Board, Minnesotans for the American Community Survey Board of Directors and represents the Midwest on the National Assoc. of Development Orgs.’s (NADO) Board of Directors.

Griensewic is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has completed course work through Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Executive Education. She received the 2017 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Her professional background includes extensive private sector and non-profit leadership experience.