Export-Import Bank of the United States President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis Marks First 100 Days at EXIM

Visits Pennsylvania Small Business, Highlights Early Progress and Previews Priorities
Media Contact Name/Phone
Office of Communications (202-730-6639/202-993-0409)

WASHINGTON – To mark her 100th day as head of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis toured a small business EXIM success story in Pennsylvania today. Chair Lewis and EXIM staff toured AKAS Textiles, a minority-owned family business in Bensalem, Penn. that has seen double-digit growth every year since it was established in 2007. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the company pivoted from their traditional product lines to fabrics used in face masks and surgical gowns due to the surge in demand from frontline healthcare workers and the general public.

Chair Lewis touring AKAS TextilesDuring her visit, Chair Lewis hosted a roundtable with the AKAS owners and several members of the Women’s Business Enterprise Center East, an organization dedicated to supporting women business owners and entrepreneurs across Pennsylvania. The roundtable was also attended by Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo, a Bensalem native and strong advocate for the development of Bensalem businesses.

“It is important to see first-hand how EXIM financing can transform and uplift a small business such as AKAS Textiles,” said Chair Lewis. “Their successes serve as a model for what EXIM can do to support small, minority-owned businesses, and they represent a key role EXIM can play in this new chapter for the agency.”

The first person of color to hold the office, Chair Lewis has hit the ground running in her first few months and has made great strides in resetting EXIM’s relationships with stakeholders around the world, renewing EXIM’s commitment to fulfilling its mission, and rebuilding the agency’s priorities in this new era.

Highlights from her tenure thus far include:

  • Supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to strengthen America’s supply chains by launching the Make More in America Initiative, a new financing tool that will help bolster U.S. jobs and exports.
  • Authorizing more than $2 billion in EXIM financing, including several transactions that advance the agency’s goals in sub-Saharan Africa and the China and Transformational Exports Program.
  • Strengthened EXIM’s bipartisan Congressional relationships by meeting with over 20 Members, including key congressional leaders, to discuss EXIM’s outreach and new efforts to assist American exporters.
  • Fostering strategic international and domestic collaborations – hosting more than 20 international delegations and meeting with more than three dozen federal, state, and local officials.
  • Opening EXIM’s doors to a broader network of partners by forming two new subcommittees of EXIM’s Advisory Committee: The Council on Advancing Women in Business and Council on Small Business.
  • Finalizing EXIM’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026, outlining the path forward to expand and diversify EXIM’s portfolio, modernize the agency through targeted reforms, attract and retain top talent, and promote the integrity and transparency of EXIM operations and processes.
  • Establishing a new internal working group focused on deepening EXIM’s support for sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Hiring the first staff members for the new Office of Global Finance Development, EXIM’s new business development division that will help reshape EXIM’s global footprint.
  • Designating a new Climate Outreach Director to bolster EXIM’s engagement on clean energy.
  • Renewing co-financing agreements with export credit agencies like Bpifrance.
  • Hosting dialogues with dozens of private sector partners and stakeholders from small business, LGBTQ, African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and women’s organizations.
  • Beginning a 50-state tour that will help put EXIM back on the map in every corner of America.
  • Taking bold action by officially closing for business in Russia following their illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“Throughout these first 100 days on the job, my primary objective has been to usher in a new, modern era at EXIM, an era in which EXIM delivers on our mission and fulfills the important responsibilities tasked to us by Congress each and every day,” said Chair Lewis. “I am heartened by the immense progress we have made thus far, but know we have a great deal more we must tackle for EXIM to once again become a global leader in advancing America’s economic competitiveness. I eagerly look forward to the challenges that lie ahead on day 101 and beyond.”

As Chair Lewis and EXIM pivot towards day 101, EXIM will kick off a new digital media awareness campaign, titled #EXIM101. The new campaign will educate stakeholders, especially small businesses, about EXIM’s core offerings, the benefits of exporting, and opportunities to grow sales and expand to new markets. The campaign will run for two months and feature daily content across EXIM’s digital platforms.


The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insuranceworking capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.