World Trade Center Spotlight: Washington, D.C.

Growing up in Baltimore MD and living in Annapolis MD, I consider Washington DC  a very close neighbor.  It was easy to take my children on day trips (40 min drive depending on traffic) into DC to visit the Smithsonian museums, monuments, art museums, National Zoo, the garden of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (I am a descendant) and more.   As a child myself, I spent a lot of time at my uncle’s house in DC.  He was in the State Department and an Ambassador.  My favorite activities there include seeing the monuments lit up at night and walking among the cherry blossoms at the Jefferson Memorial. I wasn’t the only one visiting DC though as over 15 million visit the city each year.

Washington DC is of course the capital of the U.S. since July 16, 1790. Most of the original city, however, was burned to the ground during the War of 1812. The DC stands for District of Columbia and thus is not one of the 50 states.   It has an elected mayor and city council (as of 1973) but the U.S. Congress has ultimate authority over the city. As of 2010 it has a population of 601,723, however during the workweek commuters raise the population to over 1 million.  Located in Washington DC are the 3 branches of the federal government and 176 foreign embassies.  It is also headquarters for the World Bank.  The district has 68.3 square miles with 19.4% parkland.  President Washington had commissioned a Frenchman, Pierre Charles L’Enfant to create a planned city (although good luck figuring it out when you are driving the streets and many circles). It is also the third highest metropolitan area in the U.S. for cost of living.

In 2008, 27% of jobs in Washington DC were federal government.  The top 4 non-government employees are: Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center, Children’s National Medical Center and Howard University.  There are many high-tech and biosciences enterprises located in the surrounding suburbs. As to commercial shipping: the bulk of air freight goes through the three airports: Ronald Regan, Dulles International and Baltimore-Washington.  DC has its own port at the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, but mainly accesses the larger port facilities of Baltimore and Virginia.

World Trade Center Washington DC

“As a gateway to the world the WTCDC is more than a building or an organization.  It is a convergence of government, business and commerce in the heart of the nations’ capital, providing unparalleled access to trade experts, resources and services. You are invited to come and explore this Washington DC landmark building including its meeting and wedding venues, diverse food court, exquisite art and architecture and dramatic settings for conventions, conferences, weddings, and special events.”  (Website)


Mission: “The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center brings together federal, state and regional trade resources, international trade related businesses and services to convey the United States’ recognition of the importance of trade in linking countries and communities.”

Background:  The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center  serves as the official World Trade Center.  This amazing building (3.1 million square feet) was officially dedicated on May 5, 1998 after 8 years of construction.  It is built upon “the plague spot of Washington”, a location so named in the 1890s because of its saloons and brothels.

Facilities:  The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center “… is the first and only federal building dedicated to both government and private use…”  It holds a premier conference center and event center, executive office space, meeting and event facilities,dining and more.  It is located within walking distance of the White House in the heart of DC.

Services:  The WTCDC earned the Global Best Practices Designation which is the highest award bestowed on World Trade Centers.  Some of the reasons it received the award are:

  • Showcasing the 3.1 million space
  • Creating an accredited national forum for the advancement of trade from the country’s best public and private resources.
  • Serving as a host venue for more than 85 trade-awareness events and symposia each year.
  • Assisting businesses to transition from domestic to worldwide trading partners.
  • Educating the public.

Newsletter:  Tradewinds.  Available on the website, this is a beautifully done and informative magazine. The Autumn 2010 edition features Muhuammad Yunas (Nobel Prize winning economist and banker) and his book, Building Social Business.


10/6: Leadership in a Global Economy with Ed Fuller

10/24: ISOA Annual Summit

10/27-28: 20th annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference

Contact Information

Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC  20004
Contact:  for more information about the International Trade Center.

      DC at night.      

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Cherry Blossums at the Jefferson Memorial

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