Ambassador (Ret) Edward B. O’Donnell, Jr. Director, International Business Development

Ambassador (Ret) Edward B. O’Donnell, Jr. is the Director of the American Business Development Group International office, in Columbia, South Carolina, an internationally respected, full-spectrum business development consulting firm, now representing a diverse list of over fifty prominent U.S. and international businesses. American Business Development Group enjoys a reputation as one of the largest business development firms in the United States which specializes in the re-equipping and modernization of the United States Armed Forces.

Ambassador O’Donnell leads our efforts to provide business development and government relations services to companies and organizations in the global marketplace. ABDG – International also offers teaming arrangements for both US-based and international entities in the private sector. The International business development office specializes in export management, foreign investment and international business services such as sourcing, market research as well as access to global political and business leaders.

Ambassador O’Donnell recently retired as senior career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. He served as Senior Negotiator at the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States, as Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues and as Acting Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission in Panama. His last overseas post was as Consul General (Principal Officer) in Frankfurt, Germany, the largest U.S. Consulate and one of the largest U.S. diplomatic posts with more than 800 American and Foreign Service nationals representing 17 U.S. government agencies. He also served as Economic Counselor or Commercial Attache in Berlin, Germany; Vienna, Austria and Panama. He is also a retired Army Reserve Colonel.

Ambassador O’Donnell has spent decades helping U.S. firms export and invest in international markets. As the Commercial Officer in Germany and Latin America, he organized trade fairs and trade missions to promote U.S. products and services. He worked closely with U.S. investors to help open markets and to assure fair access to government procurement and investment opportunities. Ambassador O’Donnell also worked for a major international New York bank and a U.S. multinational conglomerate in Houston, Texas. Ed planned and negotiated joint ventures in China for a U.S. manufacturing company. Ed speaks German and Spanish and has lived and worked in Germany, Austria, Colombia, Panama and Paraguay.

As senior negotiating ambassador with the State Department, he led U.S. negotiations with 33 countries of Latin American on issues of economic and social development. As Special Envoy/Ambassador for Holocaust Issues, he negotiated financial restitution agreements with Germany, Austria, and France and traveled and led negotiations throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Throughout his career he represented U.S. interests with other countries on commercial, financial and political-military topics.

Ambassador O’Donnell received his Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Studies from the American University in Washington, D.C. and studied economics at Heidelberg University in Germany. He recently was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with Star by the President of Austria.

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