Back to Legacy Leaders


By  | 


“Be yourself and always remember you represent me, the family, and the community.”


Mr. Cornelius will be responsible for developing a comprehensive set of ICSB small business best practice guidelines based on U.S. standards; assist ICSB global partners to learn how to engage with the SBA in exporting U.S. small business products and services to their country; and provide global strategic leadership to the program and its board of directors. Mr. Cornelius will continue to serve the SBA as Senior Advisor to the Office of International Trade.

As the former Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of International Trade with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Mr. Cornelius was responsible for administrating the oversight and execution of four program divisions: The Federal & State Trade Development Division — which focuses on delivery and management of grants program, The International Trade Finance Division — which provides trade financing, counseling and training with SBA’s three loan programs via 21 Export Assistance Centers Nationwide, The International Affairs & Trade Policy Division — which focuses on national initiatives, trade policy mandates, export promotion interagency collaborative efforts, field network and outreach and Administration & Operations with focus on budget, human resources and management. Duties included development of international trade strategies and strategic plans, leadership of the OIT and other staff information and administration of policies and programs, technical direction and coordination of interagency activities with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Export Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Department of State, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and other federal, state and local agencies.

He previously served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Business and Economic Development where he provided senior leadership to more than 42 percent of the agency’s budgeted workforce, ensuring the implementation of its overall goals, programs and operations.  Mr. Cornelius was responsible for management and oversight of over 90 offices covering all 50 States and U.S. Territories. In addition to his domestic experience, he has international experience working on U.S. State Department initiatives in the Middle East with the Central Banks of Egypt and Bahrain, with the country of Tunisia in Northern Africa, as well as Risk Management and Finance experience in China.  He was awarded the Harvard University School of Business “Bright Idea” for Innovation in American Government Award for the Business Builder economic development initiative and the National Banker’s Association “Above and Beyond the call of Duty” award.

Before joining SBA, Mr. Cornelius was the Director of Business Services for the Los Angeles Community College District in California — the largest community college system in the United States, the Senior Administrative Officer for the City of Redondo Beach, California, and the Risk Manager for the Compton Unified School District in Compton, California.

Mr. Cornelius is a graduate of both the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and Acquisition (Level 3) Senior Project Manager Program at American University and is nationally certified as an Associate in Risk Management (ARM). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He is a native Chicagoan and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Back to Legacy Leaders