Cutler's ascendance to acting deputy, on the heels of the recent confirmation of Michael Froman as head of the agency, sends a signal to the trade community that USTR is aiming to reestablish its prominence in economic diplomacy and also to elevate the importance of trade policy with Asia. Cutler, 56, will mark her 25-year anniversary with the agency in August. She most recently served as assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation issues. She was promoted to acting deputy USTR by Obama in June; in that post, she is the lead trade negotiator and enforcement official for Asia and Africa. Cutler is credited with paving the way for Japan to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and for leading negotiations on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. "As a veteran trade negotiator and career USTR official, I have had the opportunity to work on some of the most challenging trade negotiations over the years," she says, adding that she is "honored … to take on the responsibility," particularly at a time when the trade agenda in the Asia-Pacific region is so robust. Cutler grew up in New York and holds an M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University, and a B.A. from George Washington University.