Andrew Ranson – Treasurer
Director, Wes Watkins Center for International Trade Development, Oklahoma State University
What drew you to be a part of the OKGIT?
I joined Oklahoma State University’s Center for International Trade Development (CITD) and within a few weeks was able to attend my first GIT meeting. As the CITD strives bring the knowledge, network, and resources of OSU to make Oklahoma more globally competitive, increase trade, and create jobs to keep Oklahoma companies and students in the state to build their futures, taking part in and contributing to help the GIT thrive is a priority.
Tell us about your international experiences and how that is reflected in your life/work in Oklahoma?
I grew up with a good friend whose father was Japanese, and was exposed to that culture early on. I majored in Chinese Language and Culture as an undergraduate which involved living and studying in both mainland China and Taiwan. I worked in import/export after college and then went on to do further studies in China before heading to Hong Kong where I worked for a large US multinational strategy consulting firm. After returning to the States, I spent several years as a professional opera singer where many of my colleagues were from outside the US. In my time in Oklahoma, I did my MBA in International Business at OBU and in addition to strategy consulting work, have been involved in a business seeking to bring foreign investment to Oklahoma to create job. In my current role at the CITD our mission is to help Oklahoma expand its global trade footprint.
Why is it important for you that Oklahoma has strong international ties?
I believe it is essential for Oklahoma to continue to strive to understand and engage with the world around us. I believe this is important for us to stay competitive economically, but also feel it’s essential at a human level. There is tremendous richness in engaging with others in peaceful, collaborative efforts that further mutual respect and understanding.