Statement from the Export-Import Bank of the United States President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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“Today marks the 38th officially recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Day. On Nov. 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill making MLK Day a federal holiday, to be commemorated on the third Monday in January.

By wedding diversity and tolerance for change, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the American dream more accessible. Part of our responsibility as civil servants, especially here at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), where our mission includes supporting American business owners, is to work hard to ensure that dream is achievable. Along with endeavoring to further empower Women, Black and Brown communities across the country, I am dedicated to creating an environment reflective of that ambition within the Bank.

That is why I am pleased to announce, on this day dedicated to a man who stands as a symbol for the fight for inclusion and equality in all areas, that EXIM has appointed a Senior Advisor for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA). I welcome the insight, leadership, and direction that Renata Penn will bring to the Bank as we work on establishing and expanding key DEIA programs. I look forward to working together to advance EXIM’s commitment to the DEIA efforts outlined in goal three of our Strategic Plan and to develop innovative practices that will set the standard for a new generation at EXIM.

I implore you all, as we take today to celebrate the lasting impact of Dr. King’s teachings, to continue to advocate for greater understanding, compassion and acceptance throughout our communities and to work together to achieve the American dream deserved by all.”


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