hs2_reta-lewisReta Jo Lewis serves as a Senior Adviser to the 100,000 Strong Foundation. She most recently served in the Obama Administration as the State Department’s first-ever Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs, where she led the office charged with building strategic peer-to-peer relationships between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. state and local officials, and their foreign counterparts. In her post, she served as the State Department’s lead interlocutor in negotiating and executing the first historic agreements to solidify subnational cooperation and engagement efforts with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and with targeted countries in the European Union. Specifically, the relationship between U.S. and subnational leaders in China was fostered by the signing of the first ever U.S.-China Subnational Cooperation Agreement. The relationships that she helped to nurture through repeated visits may well form the foundation for a new and productive era of U.S. relations with the BRICS countries and China in particular, one which allows local leaders to work together on issues ranging from education, trade and investment, climate change and innovation issues. Dr. Lewis was also the principal architect that led the global engagement of U.S. state and local government leaders’ integration into and strategy regarding sustainability and climate change to RIO+20, COP-16, COP-17 and COP-18. In 2013, Secretary Hillary Clinton awarded her the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Lewis holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Georgia, a Master’s degree from American University, and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law. Dr. Lewis is a member of the D.C. and the State of Georgia Bars.