Margaret Maria Ellen Cekuta
Principal
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C. – B.S.F.S.

Margaret Cekuta is a principal at Capitol Counsel, LLC. Cekuta brings extensive international trade and economics experience to the firm. She has been responsible for communicating U.S. trade policy with the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), has liaised with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on behalf of the CEA on prescription drug pricing issues, and other trade policy issues. Cekuta has overseen cyber security and intellectual property trade issues both within the Executive Office of the President and at international forums. She has served as senior staff to the USTR’s General Counsel and the Council of Economic Advisers within the Executive Office of the President. Cekuta joins the trade team at Capitol Counsel and brings to clients her wealth of experience working successfully with both bilateral and multilateral partners to find areas of common interest and resolve to address issues within the international trading system. This experience in trade and enforcement across both the Obama and Trump administrations affords her unique insights into the direction of trade policy and the individuals carrying out this important work.

EDUCATION:
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C. – B.S.F.S.

POSITIONS HELD:

  • Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, Washington, D.C. – Associate Chief of Staff. Responsible for managing the office and budget of the CEA and communicating U.S. government trade policy. Liaison to the U.S. Trade Representative on prescription drug pricing and tariff issues.
  • Office of European and Middle Eastern Affairs, U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C. – Director of Eurasia, Russia and Germany. Responsibilities included the investigation of cyber theft of trade secrets with a focus on China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
  • Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C. – Chief of Staff; Confidential Assistant to the General Counsel. As Chief of Staff, Cekuta oversaw staffing for legal and political positions, liaised with foreign and domestic stakeholders, and produced briefing materials and press releases. She was also responsible for European, Japanese, and Australian issues related to the ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) collaborations. Additionally, she managed the USTR during the 2016-17 presidential transition and the coordination of the confirmation process for Ambassador Lighthizer. As Confidential Assistant to the General Counsel, she drafted and compiled briefing materials, edited press releases and conducted research in English and German regarding ongoing collaboration with German counterparts and the WTO. She also drafted quarterly Congressional briefing materials.

MEMBERSHIPS/RECOGNITION:
DC Young Democrats – Member

SUCCESSES:
Cekuta managed and oversaw state-sponsored cyber economic espionage issues as part of the investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The investigation resulted in legal action being brought against China (a first) and a public report issued involving the whole of the U.S. government working together to use trade tools to stop Chinese economic spying attempts.