USCIB is mourning the passing of a longtime trade and services advocate J. Robert Vastine who passed away on March 30. Vastine is a former president of the Coalition of Services Industries (CSI), which he headed from January 1996 to September 2012. He developed and strengthened CSI’s mission as the most influential U.S. advocate for expanded trade and investment in the vital services sectors, and built global networks of organizations and individuals who share the goal of opening up services markets.
“Bob was a passionate advocate for the services sector and policies that would enable that sector to flourish,” noted USCIB President and CEO Peter Robinson. “He thoughtfully explored ways to develop metrics to support the positive narrative about the services sector’s potential. And he established CSI’s Global Services Summit as an annual event that the global services community respected and endeavored to support both financially and substantively.”
Prior to joining CSI, Vastine served as president of the Congressional Economic Leadership Institute, a bi-partisan, non-profit foundation that helps educate Congress on issues affecting U.S. economic competitiveness. Vastine’s extensive Capitol Hill experience includes having served as staff director of the Senate Republican Conference, Republican staff director of the Senate Committee on Government Affairs, legislative director for Senator John H. Chafee of Rhode Island, and legislative assistant for Congressman Thomas B. Curtis of Missouri.
Vastine graduated from Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania and the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.