Episode 503: Follow Your Dreams: Embracing Culture, Challenges, and Choice | Camille Richardson

What happens when you pursue your dreams? What if we all embraced an intentional approach to life and went after our goals? Well, you may end up living around the world, working within different cultures, and impacting hundreds, maybe thousands of people across the globe! My guest this week dreamed of being a diplomat at age 15 and she has worked to make that dream a reality, as a career foreign commercial service officer. Camille Richardson is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Middle East and Africa for the International Trade Administration.

Camille describes her job and the role she plays in helping U.S. businesses explore international opportunities and create export strategies. She shares her 30-year career journey from serving as a Presidential Management Fellow to her current role, how she found her purpose, and the personal and professional challenges she faced along the way.

We also touch on the following: 

  • Intentional mindset and overcoming self-sabotage
  • Embracing change and connecting people
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Diversity in the workplace
  • The WELLTI Initiative (Women Empowered Lead Legacies Through Trade and Investment)
  •  Opportunities for small and medium businesses relative to international trade
  •  Resources available to help entrepreneurs engage in international trade

Listen to Episode 503 to learn more!

Other Resources Mentioned:

Thriving Points:

  • You’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea and that’s okay. As long as you treat people with respect,  and command the same respect for yourself – you give it, you get it. – Camille Richardson
  • It’s a good idea just to not just have a mentor, but even a circle of advisors, and trusted people that you can turn to for different perspectives. – Camille Richardson
  • Your dreams are out there and sometimes you have to defy gravity, the weight of other people’s expectations, or even your own fears to reach them. – Camille Richardson
  • A lot of people talk about fear of failure,  but a lot of us have a fear of success because to succeed, then you have to be different. – Nikki Rogers
  • Franchises are good business models because it is a way for us to export our culture a little bit,  and make it a win-win because whoever the franchisee is making business and the franchiser is making money. -Camille Richardson
  • In any career path, resilience and adaptability are important.  – Camille Richardson

Get to Know the Guest:

Camille Richardson is a tenured Senior Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Commercial Service. She began her career in government with the International Trade Administration (ITA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1993 and became an accredited diplomat with the U.S. Commercial Service in 1998.  Camille has served in Miami, FL; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India, and Sao Paulo, Brazil facilitating commercial partnerships between U.S. and local companies. In 2021, she was appointed as Commerce ITA’s new Deputy Assistant Secretary for the MEA region.

A native of Washington, D.C., Camille earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins/SAIS. She speaks Portuguese and Portunhol along with a bit of Hindi, Swahili, and French.

Connect with Camille:

About the Show:

     Women Thriving in Business features candid unscripted conversations with entrepreneurs, business experts, authors, and academics aimed at contributing to business success. This weekly show provides interviews with business leaders who have built, grown, and are thriving in business. Nikki A. Rogers, host of the show, also discusses achievements, lessons learned, and advice for aspiring business owners to develop the mindset, strategies, and connections necessary to thrive in business. Whether you are just starting or you have been in business for decades, WTiB offers inspiration, strategies, and resources to help you THRIVE in business.

Connect with Nikki:

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