Herb Cochran, Executive Director of AmCham Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, has helped AmCham members develop an influential organization to promote trade and investment between Vietnam and the United States, with a focus on improving the business environment and developing networking, information-sharing, and outreach activities.
He mobilized AmCham Vietnam members’ substantial efforts to conclude negotiations on the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement and Vietnam’s WTO Accession, and to have these two agreements approved by the U.S. Congress.
Herb helped AmCham Vietnam develop its information and outreach activities such as organizing trade and investment missions to the U.S. by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and the Dong Nai People’s Committee, hosting the 40th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Council of AmChams, and developing the AmCham web site at www.amchamvietnam.com, which welcomes over 250,000+ visitors and nearly 350,000+ page views per month.
With Herb’s leadership and support, AmCham Vietnam’s committees and industry sector experts have helped improve mutual understanding on key issues in U.S.-Vietnam trade and investment, including implementation of trade agreements, preserving Vietnam-U.S. apparel trade, strengthening governance and anti-corruption efforts, improved industrial relations, Project 30 (simplification of Vietnam’s administrative procedures), work force development for modern manufacturing, and promoting trade and investment between the U.S. and Vietnam’s Southern Key Economic Region. Organizationally, AmCham never been stronger: the number of company and associate members and representatives has quadrupled and the annual revenues have nearly quintupled.
Prior to joining AmCham, Herb was Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. He helped establish the commercial office of the U.S. Embassy, hiring staff and establishing trade and finance programs, including the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). In 1998-99 he established the commercial office of the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
Herb also served as Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific, U.S. Commercial Service, based in Washington DC. His responsibilities included program, personnel, and budget support for the commercial departments of 15 United States Embassies in the Asia/Pacific region, from Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing in Northeast Asia, to all the countries of Southeast Asia, and down to Australia and New Zealand.
Other international assignments were: Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and at the U.S. Consulate General in Osaka, Japan.
Herb has received many notable awards, including two Bang Khen awards in 2010 from the Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City to AmCham Vietnam (HCMC) and to Herb personally. He received the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for Exceptional Service, for work while at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo related to opening Japan’s telecommunications market to U.S. equipment and services, and also opening Japan’s architecture/construction/engineering market with international competitive bidding for the award-winning Kansai International Airport Terminal. He also received Commerce Department Silver Medal for Meritorious Service for work related to Japan’s implementation of the “GATT Code on Technical Barriers to Trade.”
Born in North Carolina, Herb earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (History), and a Certificat from the Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris. He is also a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington DC (National Defense Strategy).
He is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the American Foreign Service Association, and the Army and Navy Club in Washington DC.