Manisha Singh

Founder and Principal of Sunstone Strategy Group

The Honorable Manisha Singh is founder and principal of Sunstone Strategy Group. She has spent the last 25 years innovating and transforming diverse organizations to optimize performance and maximize returns. Her public and private sector roles give her the background to navigate the modern global business arena.
She most recently served at the U.S. State Department as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. She was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the first woman in history to lead the bureau, managing a team of 225 people in Washington with the support of 3,000 economic officers posted around the world. She was the Department’s key liaison to the business community and the lead official on digital policy, cyber economy, intellectual property, sanctions, foreign investment, international trade, travel and finance. While Assistant Secretary, she served for a period concurrently as Acting Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment and the Foreign Affairs Sous Sherpa (FASS) for the G-7.

A priority strategy she set for the bureau was a focus on the economy and workforce of the future. She developed a series of Innovation Roundtables inviting private sector executives to brief on the impact of emerging technology. Themes of the roundtables included 5G, artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital currency, smart cities, autonomous vehicles and Internet of Things. She has led bilateral economic dialogues with senior officials in countries around the world. She has traveled extensively in every geographic region and successfully negotiated treaties and agreements. Consulting with the private sector on industry impacts has always been her goal as a policy-maker. Manisha developed a signature initiative, Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise (POWER), a results-oriented platform to promote women in entrepreneurship. 

Her prior experience in the executive branch was serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for trade policy, including intellectual property and technology, in the Bureau of Economic Affairs at the State Department. She began her public service roles on Capitol Hill. She served as Deputy Chief Counsel, and later Senior Professional Staff to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In these positions, she was a liaison to the business community and worked to craft effective international trade and business policy including intellectual property, sanctions, foreign investment and international tax. Relying on her training as a corporate dealmaker, she worked across the aisle as a consensus builder to enact policies which contributed to economic growth and prosperity.

Manisha’s private sector career formed a foundation for her decisions as an economic policy maker. She began as a corporate attorney at multinational law firms, including Reed Smith LLP and Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP, where she advised companies from start-ups to large multinationals. In these roles, she developed a comprehensive knowledge of the strategic operations of companies ranging from internal management issues to business expansion opportunities. Clients relied on her for more than just legal advice. She counseled senior executives on corporate strategies and potential new ventures. Her relationships were defined by the trust and confidence clients placed in her advice. In addition to law firms, her private sector experience includes managing global public policy as an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. This role continued to utilize her keen insights into geopolitical developments, economic trends and macroeconomic risk factors when advising the bank’s various divisions on global investment and strategy.