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Dulce Zahniser is the Managing Director of Towpath Group International, LLC where she represents clients involved in global technology solutions, manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, real estate development, communications, financial services, and smart technology.

Her primary focus for Towpath’s clients include export strategy, international trade compliance (ITAR and EAR) including trade audits and developing robust trade compliance programs, as well as foreign direct investment, export credit, export working capital and investment financing. She also specializes in how to maximize the benefits of free trade agreements. She works for both private sector clients and US government agencies. In addition to her client work, Dulce has worked on development activities with such organizations as USAID, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Department of Defense. Prior to forming Towpath in 2009, she was a senior executive of the Overseas Private Investment Agency (OPIC) (now the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the US government agency supporting US private sector investment in emerging economies. Over the course of her career, she has worked in 44 countries world-wide.

In addition to Towpath, Dulce is a Senior International Trade Specialist for the Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC). As a member of the SBDC’s international trade team, she supports small and medium sized enterprises with global trade management, global marketing, export controls, international business planning and supply trade finance. In this role, she is also a trainer for NASBITE’s Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential.

Dulce is a CGBP, as well as a member of the Virginia/DC District Export Council (DEC). In addition, her professional associations include the Society for International Affairs, the International Compliance Professionals Association (ICPA), National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association (NCBFAA), NASBITE and the Washington International Trade Association (WITA). She has an MA in International Commerce and Policy as well as a Certificate in Global Trade Management from George Mason University and a BA from American University.

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Mark Garfinkel


Mark A. Garfinkel is a Director of Towpath Group International, LLC and also works as a part-time general counsel for a number of international companies assisting them with global legal and business strategy.

From 2001 to 2009, he was Vice President and General Counsel of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an independent and self-sustaining U.S. Government agency in Washington, DC, which operates as a developmental investment bank. OPIC provides loan financing and political risk insurance to structured finance and SME projects in over 160 emerging market countries, as well as support to more than 40 emerging market private equity investment funds. Mark was also Chief Compliance Officer of the corporation with responsibility for managing the risks presented by hundreds of OPIC’s international transactions and workouts, and for ensuring that OPIC maintained best practices in due diligence and compliance matters.

Mark has over twenty years of federal government, law firm and in-house legal and management experience with a focus on corporate, real estate and international business and finance law. Immediately prior to joining to OPIC, Mark was Vice President and General Counsel of Wheat International Communications Corporation, a defense contractor in Reston, Virginia. His previous U.S. government experience includes the executive position of Chief of Staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in Washington, D.C. from 1994 through 1996, where he managed agency legal, financial, and administrative matters. He has a business background in real estate development, construction and retail.

Mark Garfinkel is currently an international mediator and is on the roster of international mediators for the American Arbitration Association.

Mark Garfinkel can be reached via email at MAGarfinkel@towpathgroupintl.com.

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Chris Coughlin


Mr. Coughlin brings over 20 years of diversified and senior government relations experience at the nexus where government policy and politics meet international business.
From 2001-2009, Mr. Coughlin served as Vice President of External Affairs at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) where he was responsible for the agency’s congressional, public policy and communications and grassroots outreach. Under his leadership, OPIC received its first unanimous reauthorization from Congress in over a decade. 
In addition to his OPIC experience, Mr. Coughlin brings hands-on knowledge of emerging markets having worked for, and eventually run, the first US company licensed to operate in Vietnam. The US consulting firm, VATICO helped US businesses to develop market entry strategies for Vietnam in sectors as diverse as energy, automotive assembly and telecommunications. Mr. Coughlin was also a founding member of the American Chamber of Commerce of Vietnam and one of its first Directors.
Earlier in his career Mr. Coughlin worked with the Department of Defense, developing US policy on dual-use exports of high technology, as well as Defense activity with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). For his service in the Defense Department, Mr. Coughlin was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
Since 2009, Mr. Coughlin has served as Principal of Frontier Development International, LLC, a boutique government affairs firm focused on technology and trade. He currently serves as Vice President of Government Affairs for a California-based manufacturer of intelligent energy management systems, which reduce fossil fuel use and Greenhouse Gas emissions in the trucking industry.

Mr. Coughlin resides in Arlington, VA.

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Julie Hasler became a Director of Towpath in 2010 and brings a host of professional experience to the organization. For nearly 20 years, Julie served in a number of positions in the Legislative Branch, including the Ways and Means and House Administration Committees, the Bipartisan Medicare Commission, and on the Congressional staff of former U.S. Representative Bill Thomas (CA-22) and former U.S. Senator David Durenberger (MN). Immediately prior to entering the private sector, Julie served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from 2007-2009 and acting Director of Legislative Affairs in 2008 to 2009, where she directed one of the most visible and demanding offices at the Department. Her responsibilities at HHS included working with Congressional staff, external stakeholders, private sector organizations and agencies within HHS on myriad Congressional, policy, regulatory, personnel and managerial issues to advance the Secretary’s health care priorities. Julie is currently the Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for a privately held company in the healthcare sector.

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Jennifer Faust has over ten years of institutional investment, international development and emerging market private equity experience.

Mrs. Faust is a Director of Towpath Group International, LLC. She is also the Managing Member of Faust Global Partners LLC (“FGP”), a global investment, marketing and advisory business. In these capacities, she advises domestic and international private equity funds on investment, marketing and fundraising strategies and assists funds with investor relations. She also selectively acts as a placement agent for international and domestic private equity funds raising institutional capital.

Mrs. Faust was a Manager, Private Equity in the Investment Funds Department at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). She joined OPIC in 2002 and was responsible for the monitoring of OPIC’s private equity portfolio of over 40 private equity funds with nearly $8 billion in emerging market, private equity commitments. Moreover, she was directly responsible for the relationship and management of a portfolio of private equity funds with a total fund capitalization of $500 million, across various sectors and regions. Mrs. Faust also participated in and led the selection process for international private equity fund managers for OPIC’s new investment funds.

Mrs. Faust briefly left OPIC from late 2007 to early 2009 to serve as a Senior Vice President at 57 Stars (fka PCGI), an investment manager focused on partnership and co-investment in select private equity markets outside the United States. In that role, she was responsible for the design and execution of the firm’s marketing plan, with regard to both fundraising and client relations. She developed and managed relationships with key institutional investor accounts in the U.S. and globally, including public and corporate pension funds, foundations and endowments, gatekeepers, sovereign wealth funds and government investment agencies.

Before joining OPIC, from 2000 to 2002, Mrs. Faust was a leading European equities analyst with SG Securities (SG Cowen) in London, England.

Mrs. Faust holds a B.A. cum laude in Political Science and German Language from Furman University in Greenville, S.C. She holds a M.S.C. in European Studies with an additional concentration in European Policy Making from the London School of Economics (“LSE”) in London, England.

Mrs. Faust is a Series 22 Registered Representative.

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