Announcing The Honorable Fred P. Hochberg as Chair of the Meridian Board of Trustees

June 1, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Meridian International Center today announced that The Honorable Fred P. Hochberg has been elected as Chair of its Board of Trustees, effective June 1, 2023. Meridian is a nonpartisan, nonprofit diplomacy center that connects leaders through culture and collaboration to drive solutions for global challenges.

Hochberg has been a trustee since 2017, most recently as Vice Chair.  He has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Hochberg has spent ten years in the federal government, first as Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Clinton and later as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) under President Obama.  Before entering public service, Hochberg was President of the Lillian Vernon Corporation, a direct marketing company.  Previously he also served as a board member and later co-chair of the Human Rights Campaign, the national LGBTQ advocacy organization.

"Having been a trustee since 2017, I have had a front-row seat to witness the excellent work that Meridian has done in finding common ground with countries around the world while strengthening America's role in global diplomacy” shared Chair Fred P. Hochberg. “I want to thank the board for electing me as their new Chair and am honored to succeed Ann Stock and thank her for her many years of friendship and invaluable service to Meridian. We have much work to do!”

Meridian International Center also elected three new Trustees:  Steve Hilton, Vice President/Head of Global Government Relations, Cargill; Katherine Rice, Partner, Gingerbread Capital; Mauricio Ramos, CEO, Millicom.

"I am honored to welcome our newest board members, whose diverse expertise and backgrounds will undoubtedly enrich our mission of promoting global leadership, collaboration and culture through diplomacy. I am excited to work with Fred Hochberg as he understands the powerful role of public-private partnership in addressing global challenges.” shared Ambassador Stuart Holliday, CEO of Meridian. “I also extend my deepest gratitude to our departing board members for their invaluable contributions to Meridian's success. As we look to the future, we are excited to continue our work with a strong and dedicated team of trustees."


Steve Hilton, Vice President / Head of Global Government Relations, Cargill

Steven Hilton is Cargill's Vice President and Head of Global Government Relations.  He is a solutions-focused Senior Executive and Consultant with over 35 years of success leveraging extensive experience in risk management and public advocacy across the food and beverage, legal, defense, technology, and pharmaceutical industries. His broad areas of expertise include communications, crisis management, public affairs, international markets, regulatory affairs, and startups. Steve has held leadership positions throughout his executive career with Hilton Advisors, Mercury Public Affairs, McDonald's Corporation and two major law firms. He has also served in senior government positions in the Clinton White House, the Obama Transition, and the U.S. Senate. Steve served as the Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs for McDonald’s Corporation for six years, where he built. He led a global team that manages McDonald’s state, federal and international government and public affairs activities, along with strategic reputational engagement efforts supporting the brand and its franchisees globally. A 25-year military veteran, Steve achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Steve graduated from Princeton University, the Army’s Command and General Staff College, and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Along with his professional experience, Steve was appointed by President Clinton as a Commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, which constructed the World War II and the Korean War Memorials on the National Mall. Steve's nonprofit board experience includes the Washington D.C. Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army, Halcyon, the National Restaurant Association, the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), the United States Council of International Business (USCIB), the Board of Trustees of Chicago’s Goodman Theater. It is a founding board member of Blue Star Families.

The Honorable Fred P. Hochberg, Former Chairman of the Board and President of Export-Import Bank; Chair, Meridian Board of Trustees

Fred P. Hochberg is a seasoned business executive and government leader who has navigated organizations through rough waters and brought them to new heights. He recently concluded eight years of service as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), where he became the longest serving Chairman in the agency’s history. Previously, he was Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Dean of the Milano School at the New School. Before entering public service, Hochberg spent almost two decades leading his family’s direct marketing business, Lillian Vernon, where he oversaw a 40-fold increase in revenue and managed the initial public offering.

Hochberg led EXIM through a period that included elevated demand for its services in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. During his tenure, the agency supported more than 1.4 million American jobs and financed exports exceeding $240 billion while generating $3.8 billion in profits for U.S. taxpayers. Hochberg reduced internal agency costs by 30 percent, managing a staff of 400+ people. With customers in mind, Hochberg was also able to cut transaction times so that 98 percent of transactions were processed within 100 days, even as he introduced innovative new financial products and reorganized EXIM to focus on the sectors where U.S. exporters enjoy a comparative advantage like aerospace and transportation, equipment for resource extraction and power technology. As Dean of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at the New School from 2003-2008, he developed an innovative executive education program for the non-profit arena, raised Milano’s profile, and left the school much firmer financially. He also established the Dean’s Alumni Council and pioneered an executive education program. From 1998-2001, Hochberg served as the Acting Administrator & Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration, where he quadrupled lending to minority- and woman-owned businesses, improved application response times and expedited the agency’s transition to automated loan processing technology.

Hochberg led the transformation of a small, family-owned mail order company into an international, publicly traded direct marketing corporation as President and Chief Operating Officer of Lillian Vernon from 1975-1993. Leading the company for 18 years, Hochberg oversaw the company's relocation to Virginia, the construction of a 500,000-square-foot distribution and data center and the company’s initial public offering in 1987. Lillian Vernon experienced a nearly 40-fold increase in annual revenue during his tenure, rising from $5 million in 1975 to $180 million in 1993, and employed more than 5,000 people at its peak.

Mauricio Ramos, Chief Executive Officer, Millicom

Mauricio Ramos joined Millicom in April 2015 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and was elected Executive Director of the Millicom Board in June 2020. Since joining Millicom, he has pioneered various initiatives, most notably transforming the company into a fixed internet and mobile business with a strong focus on Latin America. Under his leadership, Millicom solidified its company purpose “to build the digital highways that connect people, improve lives, and develop communities,” and a strong corporate culture described by its more than 21,000 employees as ‘Sangre Tigo”, leading to the company-wide acknowledgments as one of the Top 25 Best Multinational Workplaces in Latin America in the Great Place to Work (GPTW) survey. Expanding Millicom’s presence across Latin America, in 2018, he led the acquisition of Cable Onda, the Group’s first asset in Panama. In 2019, he acquired Telefonica’s mobile subsidiaries in Panama and Nicaragua. He also led the company to begin trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market in the US under the ticker symbol TIGO complementing the listing on NASDAQ Stockholm.

Mauricio is an active member of various boards of directors of corporations, educational institutions, and business associations.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of Charter Communications (U.S.) since joining in 2016.  In 2021 he was elected Chair of the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Colombia Business Council (USCBC).  The USCBC is the premier business organization dedicated to strengthening the economic and commercial relationship between the United States and Colombia.  Among his other non-executive roles, in 2021, he joined the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development as a Commissioner and the INCAE business school Presidential Advisory Council. From 2017-2019 he sat on the GSMA Board of Directors.  He has also served as Director of the Biennial of the Americas from 2012 to 2015, Director of Columbus Networks from 2013 to 2014, and Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Chile from 2007-2011, among various other roles. Before joining Millicom, he was President of Liberty Global’s Latin American division, a position he held from 2006 until February 2015. During his career at Liberty Global, Mauricio held several leadership roles, including Chairman and CEO of VTR in Chile, Chief Financial Officer of Liberty’s Latin American division, and President of Liberty Puerto Rico.

He is a dual Colombian and U.S. citizen who received a degree in Economics, Law and a postgraduate degree in Financial Law from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota.

Katherine Rice, Partner, Gingerbread Capital

Katherine joined GingerBread Capital’s investment team as Partner in August 2021 after serving as a senior advisor, assisting our investment team in identifying women-led investment opportunities and helping entrepreneurs realize the full potential of their businesses. Katherine has a strong track record of incubating and scaling consumer businesses.  She is accomplished at building multi-channel lifestyle brands in the home furnishings, apparel, food and beverage, and health and wellness sectors.  She is an expert at leveraging digital and customer-centric insights to transform brands. Previously, as a senior executive at Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Katherine ran business development spanning multiple brands, structured partnerships that drove strategic initiatives, and launched new global multi-channel businesses.  She was also a manager at Bain & Company, partnering with clients in the private equity, retail and consumer industries. She began her career in investment banking at Kidder, Peabody in New York.

Katherine holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University. Passionate about supporting women leaders, Katherine mentors female entrepreneurs and actively advocates for women political candidates locally and nationally. Katherine serves on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, to which President Biden appointed her in June 2021. A native of Texas, Katherine currently resides in Mill Valley, California.



Meridian International Center is a non-partisan nonprofit that strengthens engagement between the United States and the world through diplomacy, leadership, and culture. Through more than 500 projects each year, Meridian brings together a cross-section of established and emerging leaders from countries worldwide and in the U.S. to meet the challenges of a complex global future effectively. For 60 years, Meridian has equipped thousands of leaders with the networks, insights, and cultural context essential for non-partisan collaboration on shared issues.

For more information, contact Meridian, Director of Communications and Marketing of Danielle Najjar, at

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