Interview with McGuireWoods Managing Director Nadia Crisan
When and why did you open McGuireWoods’ office in Romania?
We opened the Bucharest office in March 2007. One of McGuireWoods’ key clients, the largest meat processor in the world, Smithfield Foods, requested that we set a presence in Romania to handle their government and public affairs work. (…) The next key development of our office in Romania was the request of Ford Motor Company to advise them in the negotiations process with the Romanian government as they intended to take over the Automobile Craiova car manufacturing site. We have been a strategic advisor to Ford since April 2007 and we built what we have today based on these two essential projects.
How would you look back at Ford’s decision to invest in Romania?
This was a historic moment for Ford, for Romania and for the Romanian-American relations. As a member of the Board of Directors of Ford Romania, I am very proud to see that Ford delivers a vision it had developed several years ago when the automotive sector was on a major growth trend. At that point, Romania was put on the Ford map as a strategic plant, an investment of EUR 675 million and a modern and globally-competitive manufacturing facility with the capacity to produce 300, 000 vehicles and 300,000 engines. (…)
Could you tell us something about Nadia Crisan, the person?
Honesty, hard work and independence are main three words that describe who I am. These are the values that my family inspired in me as I grew up in Transylvania, in Cluj-Napoca. As a freshman at the University of Cluj and an aspiring journalist, in total transparency and honesty, I told my family and my professors that my drive is to study at the best schools in the US, to work hard and to have the freedom that allows me to give something back to Romania and to the community were I was raised.
So, I followed my dream, I left Cluj and went to study in Chicago, graduating with Bachelors in Political Science, Spanish and International Relations. My time in the Midwest and the results I achieved in school built a strong desire that I look for the next level of challenge. Having Romania in mind and what I could do to apply the knowledge I have acquired to the needs of my nation, I applied to the best international relations masters programs, and in the end, I decided to go to the best school that allowed me to study law, business and diplomacy – the Fletcher School of Law Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduation, in 2003, I followed my dream and joined the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry. I was blessed to have the opportunity to serve my country as First Secretary at the Romanian Embassy in Washington, especially at a time when Romania had a number of strategic foreign affairs objectives: NATO and EU accession, negotiations for the presence of US military bases, etc. Then, it was time for me to come back to Romania and to use all the skills I have acquired by working and studying for 10 years in the US. This happened when I opened the office of McGuireWoods in Romania.
Honesty, hard work and independence are my three core values that will be with me for the rest of my life and I am convinced they will help me become a better and stronger person.