Title: Director of Research & Programs

Hometown: Helena, Montana

Ashley Zuelke brings a wealth of economic and small business development experience to RCAP. She previously served as senior advisor for export policy, promotion and strategy at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration. During her six years there, Ashley led policy and program development, research, and outreach to help community leaders and U.S. businesses take advantage of international trade opportunities and support local economic growth. Her work also focused on opportunities for entrepreneurs, women-owned firms, and rural businesses. She is proud of her key role in several Presidential initiatives, particularly the "Made in Rural America" initiative that improved rural businesses’ access to trade assistance and further enhanced collaboration among agencies on the White House Rural Council. Ashley also worked with Congress as a legislative assistant, was an international trade associate at the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and served in the economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Paris. She has a background in journalism and has written, edited and designed several publications for news, government, nonprofit and academic organizations.

Ashley attained a Master of Science degree in business analytics and management with distinction from University College London, where she researched start-up support and community development programs. She holds bachelor's degrees with high honors in journalism and international relations from the University of Montana. Ashley grew up in Helena, Montana, and has family roots on the state’s Hi-Line. She is based in Denver, Colorado, with her husband.