About Edward Burton
Chief Executive Officer
Edward Burton is the Chief Executive Officer of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (“the Council”). Mr. Burton works with the American and Saudi public and private sectors to promote the interests of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian bilateral commercial relationship. During his career, Mr. Burton has counseled hundreds of Fortune 500 companies as well as small and middle capitalized firms from a variety of industries such as oil and gas, downstream petrochemical, construction, medical, defense and security, information technology and technical services.
Prior to joining the Council, Mr. Burton served as the Commercial Attaché at the American Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He managed a staff of 30 officers, commercial specialists and other local direct hire personnel of different nationalities serving offices in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran. He was responsible for all U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) operations in Saudi Arabia and had oversight of all USFCS management, administrative and fiscal matters in the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in the Kingdom. He also supervised USFCS operations in Manama, Bahrain through a partnership arrangement with the U.S. Embassy in Manama. Mr. Burton was also appointed directly by former U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans to serve as the USFCS Regional Coordinator for the agency’s Iraq Reconstruction Regional Initiative.
Mr. Burton was the Director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Philadelphia and in this capacity managed commercial operations in five Northeastern U.S. States. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, he served former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman as the Director of the State of New Jersey’s International Trade Office. As New Jersey’s State Trade Director, Mr. Burton managed the State’s trade offices in London, Tokyo, Beijing and Mexico City. He was instrumental in turning the State’s attention to Africa and organized New Jersey’s first business development missions to several African countries including South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.
Mr. Burton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Charleston and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the Dickinson School of Law. He practiced law in New Jersey with the law firm Cooper Levenson. He also received certified international trade and management training at the Thunderbird School of International Business and the Harvard Business School of Publishing. He is the author of the book “Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia” published by John Wiley & Sons (2016). He also has had numerous articles published in leading magazines and journals such as Forbes and the Oil & Gas Journal, and has been interviewed on CNN International concerning Saudi Arabia. Mr. Burton is an adjunct professor at Chatham University teaching the institution’s Global Business course.