Lao, a senior international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, works to help U.S. businesses overcome trade barriers. She serves as the Chile and Peru desk officer and has coordinated U.S. trade-related programs between the private sector, universities, development banks, and several Latin American governments. Previously, she served as an anti-dumping analyst for the Department of Commerce and a financial dispute mediator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has also served at the U.S. Embassiesí Foreign Commercial Service offices on detail assignments in Chile and Peru.
Lao earned a masterís degree in international commerce and policy from George Mason University and a bachelorís degree in Spanish and speech communication from Western Oregon University. She studied in Ecuador, Mexico, England, and India, is fluent in Spanish and learning French.