We are so happy to welcome Rebecca Ferderer to the NDTO team as an International Business Specialist. Many of you may have met her on her second day at the Global Business Lunch in May. Growing up in Dickinson, ND, she has ventured internationally for nearly a decade, working for the Japan Office of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where she organized and implemented national and regional workshops, training courses, and knowledge-sharing events. She later joined WIPO’s Traditional Knowledge Division as a communications and media specialist. Here, she promoted the importance of intellectual property protection for individuals and organizations representing indigenous peoples and local communities around the globe.
Rebecca has a specialized interest in intellectual property protection for regionally branded goods, with a focus on geographical indications and collective/certification marks. She has earned a master’s degree in international development with an emphasis in governance and law, from Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan. Much of her research focused on rural development and revitalization and the potential of regionally branded goods to keep or revive small towns.
She moved back to the US in 2020 to be closer to family and currently resides in New England, ND. When asked what she is most excited to get started on at the NDTO, she says “Working with the companies! I am looking forward to learning more about North Dakota producers, processors and all the other businesses looking to expand overseas.” She also explained that with her background, it was a joy to find work with NDTO, because she wants to be close to family but is also passionate about international business.
In her spare time, she is passionate about cats and animal rescue, continuing to support community efforts to spay, neuter and rehome stray animals. Furthermore, as an active board member on the Badlands Art Association, she also wants to help strengthen arts in Western ND. “When living in Tokyo,” she explains, “I went to art museums regularly. And if you want something like that in your community, you have to help create it.”
The NDTO is very happy to have someone so dedicated to North Dakota with a background in international business to help support the many soon-to-be and current exporters across the region. Welcome to the team, Rebecca!