Staff & Counsel

The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) is supported by the staff in Washington, D.C., as well as two counsels—our Washington Counsel based in D.C., and our Customs Counsel based in New York.


Julia K. Hughes, President

Julia K. Hughes is the President of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). USFIA represents all segments of the fashion industry, from apparel brands to retailers to service companies.  Ms. Hughes represents the interests of textile and apparel importers on trade policy issues to government officials, both in the United States and overseas. She has testified before Congress and the Executive Branch on textile trade issues. Ms. Hughes is also recognized as an expert in textile and apparel issues and is a frequent speaker at international conferences including the Apparel Sourcing Show, MAGIC, Foreign Service Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, Cotton Sourcing Summit, USIA's Worldnet, the International Textiles and Clothing Bureau, Young Presidents’ Organization, World Trade Organization Beijing International Forum and others.   

Ms. Hughes also served as the first President of the international Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) and is one of the founders of the Washington Chapter of Women in International Trade (WIIT). In 1992 she received the Outstanding Woman in International Trade award and in 2008 received the WIIT Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ms. Hughes has an M.A. in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.


Samantha Sault, Vice President of Communications

Samantha Sault is the Vice President of Communications for the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). She is responsible for the development and execution of the association’s communications strategy, including public relations, policy research and messaging, and social media.

Prior to joining the association, Ms. Sault honed her communications expertise at DCI Group, a global public affairs communications firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Previously, she worked in media as a web editor and fact checker at The Weekly Standard, serving critical roles in the production of the print and web editions of the magazine and covering the intersection of fashion and politics. She began her career at Policy Review, the bi-monthly journal of the Hoover Institution.

Ms. Sault also writes feature articles and reviews for print and web publications. She has covered New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Hong Kong Fashion Week, and Washington culture and events like the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for The Weekly Standard, The Washington Times, Washington Life, and others. Her work can be found at SamanthaOnStyle.com.

Ms. Sault is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she earned a B.A. in Government & Politics and graduated as a College Park Scholar.

Contact Samantha Sault with media and communications inquiries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 202-419-0474.

Jana Kalish, Membership Coordinator

Jana Kalish is the Membership Coordinator for the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA). Ms. Kalish is responsible for developing the association's membership marketing strategy, as well as managing membership development and retention. 

Previously, Ms. Kalish worked in the marketing and membership services department at the Personal Care Products Council. At the Council, she worked on the international Certificate of Free Sale program, the Cosmetic Science EXPO, and various other marketing and membership activities.Before joining the Council, she held several internships, most notably as the marketing and circulation intern at the Healing Lifestyles and Spas Magazine.

Ms. Kalish graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she studied marketing and graduated with magna cum laude honors.

Contact Jana Kalish with all of your membership inquiries at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 202-419-0465.


David Spooner, Washington Counsel

Of Counsel, Squire Sanders, Washington, D.C.

David M. Spooner focuses his practice on international trade matters, advising clients in trade remedy and safeguard proceedings, helping clients navigate the complex rules of international trade and representing clients before the legislative and executive branches of government.

Prior to joining Squire Sanders, Mr. Spooner served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. In that capacity, Mr. Spooner led government enforcement of trade remedy laws, principally the antidumping and antisubsidy laws. He administered the Foreign Trade Zone system; supervised the US Department of Commerce’s import safety initiatives; oversaw apparel trade policy and the implementation of laws governing trade in apparel; managed trade remedy negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as dispute resolution proceedings at the WTO; and chaired US-China talks on macroeconomic reforms and the steel industry. His achievements include the first-ever application of the antisubsidy law to China and the negotiation of an agreement with Russia governing trade in uranium products.

Prior to his Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary, Mr. Spooner served as the Textile and Apparel Negotiator and Transition Coordinator in the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). While at USTR, Mr. Spooner was a principal negotiator for free trade agreements with Central America, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Panama, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Peru, principally negotiating customs enforcement, apparel and textile, origin and safeguard provisions. He was heavily involved in building support for congressional passage of the Bush Administration’s trade agenda. Mr. Spooner also negotiated a comprehensive apparel trade agreement with China and concluded bilateral customs and quota arrangements with several nations.

Before his appointment to USTR, Mr. Spooner worked on Capitol Hill, managing the Washington DC office and serving as the legislative director and press secretary for a member of Congress, serving as Communications Director for the US House Committee on Agriculture, and working for the US House Committee on Rules, which manages debate and amendments in the House of Representatives.


John Pellegrini, Customs Counsel

Of Counsel, McGuireWoods LLP, New York, NY

John Pellegrini’s practice is concentrated on the regulatory and commercial aspects of international trade. He represents clients with respect to government regulation of the import-export trade, duty planning, admissibility requirements, litigation in the U.S. Court of International Trade, representation before the various federal agencies which regulate trade in the United States, and the commercial aspects of international trade.

His clients include multinationals, general merchandise retailers, importers, exporters, domestic and foreign manufacturers, commission agents, trade associations (United States Fashion Industry Association and the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America), and international marketing companies.

Mr. Pellegrini counsels clients in issues relating to: classification and appraisement of imported merchandise; questions involving the origin and admissibility of merchandise; drawback; warehouse and foreign trade zone issues; export licensing and export controls; defense of civil penalty and criminal investigations and prosecutions; foreign asset control restrictions; boycott compliance; and, legislative, judicial and administrative proceedings, including trade policy cases.

Mr. Pellegrini’s practice areas include: business tax, international transactions, and consumer products.

Previously, Mr. Pellegrini was a Partner at Ross & Hardies in New York City. Prior to that, he served as Senior Attorney at U.S. Customs Service and Senior Attorney at J.C. Penney Company, Inc.

Mr. Pellegrini studied law at the New York University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law, and he received his undergraduate degree from Boston College.

Mr. Pellegrini is a member of the Bar of the State of New York.

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