After more than 20 years of career success in the government, private and non-profit sectors, Kimberly Reed ’96 has reached a new milestone: she is the first woman—and first West Virginian—to lead the federal Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Founded in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt, EXIM is an independent federal agency mandated by Congress to support American jobs and grow the U.S. economy. With 400 employees, EXIM finances the purchase of American exports to help offset the risk of non-payment by foreign buyers, and it extends working capital loan guarantees that enable U.S. businesses to fill export orders.
Reed was nominated by President Donald Trump to be EXIM’s 48th president and chairman of the board of directors. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote of 79 to 17.
In May, Reed was sworn-in at an Oval Office ceremony with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and her dad, Terry (photo above).
A proud West Virginian, Reed wore the Golden Horseshoe pin she earned in 8th grade for exemplary knowledge of the Mountain State’s history.
According to Reed, President Trump told her during the Oval Office ceremony to “do great things” and to “lead this institution (EXIM) to new heights” so that “the world will see more products stamped with those four beautiful words: Made in the USA.”
So far, Reed has done just that.
Under her leadership, EXIM recently approved a $5 billion project—the largest deal in the organization’s history—to transform Mozambique into a prosperous U.S. trade partner.
The project supports the export of U.S. goods and services from multiple states for the development and construction of an integrated liquefied natural gas project in the African nation. The result is expected to be $600 million in revenue for U.S. taxpayers and the support of more than 16,000 American jobs.
EXIM is also focused on helping America’s small businesses export their goods and services. The bank has authorized 782 small business transactions valued at more than $824 million in support of nearly 5,000 U.S. jobs since Reed took office.
“I enjoy working with my colleagues at EXIM and across the Executive Branch to make a positive difference for the workers and businesses in our country,” Reed said.
While helping communities across the U.S., Reed is also committed to driving change in her home state.
“From my first day as a student at WVU College of Law, I knew I wanted to use my legal education to make a difference for my home state at the federal level,” Reed explained. “One of my first roundtables at EXIM focused on small business and included Chad Remp, operations manager at Wheeling Truck Center. EXIM’s export credit insurance program has helped this West Virginia small business increase its international sales to 25 percent of total company revenue. Since entering foreign markets, Wheeling Truck has filled orders in 88 countries and added three jobs dedicated to international sales.”
Reed’s rise to the top of EXIM is the latest milestone in a long career committed to public service as a lawyer and a leader in Washington, DC.
“I was an intern in Washington, D.C. each summer while I was in law school—one summer at a think tank and one summer on Capitol Hill. These experiences helped me get my first job after law school graduation,” she said.
Over the course of her career, Reed has served as counsel to the Congressional Committees of Ways and Means, Government Reform and Oversight, and as a Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretaries of Treasury John Snow and Henry Paulson.
Reed led the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, where she oversaw a $4 billion award in tax credits, loans, and grants to groups investing in distressed communities across the United States. She was also the vice president for Financial Markets Policy Relations at Lehman Brothers in New York.
Most recently, Reed served as the President of the International Food Information Council Foundation, where she collaborated with the departments of Agriculture and State to increase acceptance of U.S. exports in emerging market countries.
“My advice for students and young professionals is to put yourself in an environment where you can develop key skills and learn from others. Read the news and stay informed on a variety of topics, and take on personal and professional activities to develop your leadership and people skills,” Reed said. “Do everything, including the most minor tasks, with excellence— you will develop a positive professional reputation, people will know they can count on you to ensure organizational success, and doors will open."
Kim Reed is from Buckhannon, West Virginia. She earned her J.D. from West Virginia University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She also holds a Professional Certificate in Finance from the New York Institute of Finance.
In 2016, Reed became the first woman chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association. She was recognized as one of the “100 Women Leaders in STEM” in 2012. She was also recognized in 2019 as one of “150 Most Powerful Women in Washington” by Washingtonian Magazine.
She has served as a Member of the Boards of the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, American Swiss Foundation, National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research, Tax Coalition, and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
In her spare time, Reed enjoys art exhibits, foreign films, documentaries and theatre. She also samples new ethnic restaurants with friends, and, because she believes physical health is key for professional success, works out with a personal trainer. She has spent time in more than one hundred countries.