AMEX International was established in 1982 in Washington, DC as an “American Exports” firm, specializing in the procurement and shipment of U.S. agricultural products to Africa and Eastern Europe. The name of the firm pays homage to the company’s early roots. AMEX’s principals, originally from West Africa, drew on their extensive private sector knowledge and experience to secure food aid contracts from USAID and the Department of Agriculture under P.L. 480 Title I and Title II. That law, later renamed the Food for Peace Act, enabled the U.S. to make in-kind donations of surplus food to countries overseas in response to humanitarian, economic development, and geopolitical concerns. The growth of federally-funded food assistance programs in the mid-1980s contributed significantly to AMEX’s early success in international development.
Driven by a commitment to advancing economic growth in Africa, the company expanded its operations in 1987 with the creation of an International Development Division dedicated to promoting private sector development and economic reforms. As a management and consulting firm, AMEX International continued its work with food-aid programs and with other development-related initiatives. As a small business, the company forged partnerships and worked on its own to design and implement activities in the U.S. and in countries overseas.
Today, AMEX provides technical assistance to governments, international institutions, and private corporations worldwide. The scope of its portfolio has grown to include democracy and governance, monitoring and evaluation, and institutional and manpower support for more than 100 projects in over 60 countries worldwide. AMEX’s corporate philosophy stresses sustainability, capacity building, and accountability. Our goal is to work collaboratively and in partnership with local communities and institutions to bring about long-lasting solutions to important development challenges.
AMEX works in partnership with government and other clients to achieve high-impact, sustainable results that improve the lives of people worldwide. Our solutions are responsive, flexible, and immediately increase the effectiveness and quality of client programs by providing the best technical expertise. We strengthen client operations and performance by creating efficiencies and applying sound management practices that give people access to information, foster learning, and allow for evidence-based decision-making. We are always looking for more effective and efficient ways to implement our global projects because the better we do, the greater the impact and the further the reach of every vaccination, every seed, and every dollar.
Executive Vice President
Ricardo Michel is the executive vice president of AMEX International, Inc., where he oversees the strategic business development, personnel, marketing, and operations of the firm. Prior to joining the firm, he was a presidential appointee under the Obama administration and served as senior official at USAID. He was responsible for driving the Agency’s strategic utilization of high-impact local and global public-private partnerships for accelerated sustainable development and leading the U.S. Global Development Lab as director of the Center for Transformational Partnerships. Additionally, he served as acting director for the Office of Innovation and Development Alliances and as the senior advisor for economic growth and trade in the Africa Bureau, where he led the presidential initiative, Partnership for Growth in Ghana and Tanzania.
Before his time with USAID, Michel served as senior project officer in the Project & Structured Finance Division of the Export –Import Bank of the U.S. and also as the international business development officer for Africa. He came to Ex-Im Bank after having worked as an independent consultant offering strategic and business advisory services to clients both domestically and overseas. He worked for several years as an investment banker for JPMorgan Securities Inc., and his career as a certified public accountant included working abroad for Centre Reinsurance Ltd., a finite risk reinsurance company in Bermuda, and as a certified public accountant for Arthur Andersen, LLP in their Philadelphia and Bermuda offices.
Michel received his MBA in finance and international strategic management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Temple University.
Vice President Of Program Management
Fôta Ishaq, AMEX International’s vice president for program management, has been with the firm since 1996. As program management VP, she provides oversight of the company’s program management efforts overseas and domestically. She has overall operational, financial, technical and logistical responsibility for all of the firm’s projects, as well as ensuring contract compliance and ongoing programmatic excellence to achieve project goals. She is responsible for developing the necessary systems, processes, and tools to support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge generated by various program activities as well as for monitoring key project outcomes.
In her more than 20 years with AMEX International, Ishaq has managed dozens of contracts, and ensured that all activities met financial and technical requirements. She supervises field consultants and oversees preparation of technical and financial reports for each contract and has a thorough knowledge of USAID’s guidelines and regulations. She serves as the point of contact for AMEX’s clients.
Fôta Ishaq has a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Dakar, Senegal, and is fluent in both English and French.
Vice President of Proposal Development
Tyra Harris brings over 20 years of strategic business development experience including leading major acquisitions in both the corporate and federal sectors. This includes leading hundreds of millions in new contracts funded by international donors including USAID, DOS, WB, BMGF, DFID, MCC and the UN. Ms. Harris’ professional background also includes strategic planning, capture, project management, contract management, as well as global research and monitoring and evaluation consulting. She recently served as Director of Business Development at IBTCI where she also led a BD team and several contract mechanisms including the USAID Evaluation IQC and the GSA OASIS contract mechanism.
Prior, she led business development at Intermedia Survey Institute, and before that served as BD Manager at The IRIS Center-UMD. Previously, she as Director, Client Development--Public Affairs and Policy Research at Harris Interactive (the Harris Polls); and as Regional Accounts Director at AGS where she managed more than $50 Mil in USAID task orders. Her business development portfolio includes all sectoral areas ranging from global health, to economic growth and financial inclusion/mobile money, to climate change and biodiversity, to governance, civil society and CVE, to education and public diplomacy research. In addition, cross cutting and other thematic areas such as ICTs for Development (ICT4S), youth; livelihoods; gender and GBV; operations research and Collaborative Learning Adaptation(CLA). Earlier in her career, Ms. Harris was a successful PR professional at a Washington DC based public affairs agency.
Ms. Harris received her Master’s Degree in Business Administration, International business focus, at the University of Maryland.
Vice President Of Procurement & Shipping
Ruben Baylon has been with AMEX International, Inc. since 1986, working his way up from a division assistant operations manager to his current position as vice president of procurement and shipping. In this role, he is responsible for the procurement and shipping of commodities under various U.S. food aid programs, including the Public Law 480, Title I and Title II, Sec. 416b, and Food for Progress programs where AMEX International had acted as freight forwarding and procurement agents for foreign governments, various private voluntary organizations, and private businesses. Over the course of his more than 30 years with the firm, he has arranged the shipments of more than 6 million metric tons of various agricultural commodities worldwide and procurement of non-agricultural products.
Baylon started his career in his native Philippines with the National Food Authority (NFA)/Commission on Audit as an auditing examiner, where he conducted field audits of both financial and grain stocks inventory. Later, he served as a senior operations officer in the office of the NFA Deputy Administrator for Operations, where his main task was to keep the deputy administrator informed of the day-to-day activities of the agency involving local grains procurement, importation, and transportation. He has a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of the East, Manila, and is fluent in English and Filipino.