Melvin Torres


Director of Western Hemisphere Trade

Biografía en Español


Melvin is a highly accomplished and results-driven corporate executive with over 27 years of success, strengthening international markets and business practices globally. He has managed cross-functional executive teams as a vice president, director, and general manager at the world’s strongest international companies including Citigroup, General Electric, and Commerce Bank. 

Melvin is a unique seasoned leader that leverages his extraordinary high-level executive corporate experience and transferable skillset to foster economic growth within the governmental structure. He accomplishes this by propelling business development, strategic planning, and grassroot engagement through trade and diplomacy. His efforts have led to cultivate unprecedented incremental exports and sustainable profit increases for the state.


At the age of 25, Melvin was responsible for the operations of eight Western Hemisphere countries for Citibank and was the youngest executive ever promoted to a vice president role in the region’s history. Melvin revolutionized acquisitions and portfolio management programs, international centralizations, and restructuring efforts for the Western Hemisphere, Europe, and multicultural markets amongst others. Furthermore, he was also part of the Audit, Compliance, and Mergers & Acquisitions group.


His efforts led Citibank to become the Western Hemisphere Best-In-Class model and generated the largest growth and savings in the history of the region. For GE Money Bank, he shared responsibility for the largest credit card portfolio in the world and pioneered the company’s first retention program in history for the Western Hemisphere. In addition, he was responsible for the largest portfolio at Commerce Bank, generating exceptionally successful results for the organization.


Serving as Director of Western Hemisphere Trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas, Melvin has found his dream job and passion, helping businesses and farmers, stimulating trade, and encouraging diplomacy to build lasting relationships between us and the members of the international community. 


Melvin has led many delegations of Arkansas leaders and businesses on successful trade shows, trade missions, and commercial diplomacy missions that positioned Arkansas as a key export partner for these markets, boosting unprecedented economic growth for the state. Melvin has created many impactful relationships with Western Hemisphere and European governments, and is seen as a vital resource for top state, national, and foreign officials on matters of trade and diplomacy. His value as a liaison between Western Hemisphere, Europe, Arkansas and the United States government is recognized by global media and the most important trade leaders in the world. He has written numerous articles on trade for state and national publications.


In May 2017, he led the first official delegation from any state in the union to Washington D.C. for NAFTA discussions. As a result, he then testified at the U.S. Trade Representative hearings on NAFTA modernization in Washington D.C. and became part of a cumulative effort to gain support for USMCA. These resilient efforts resulted in passage of the USMCA agreement in the US Congress and Senate.


Melvin’s esteemed academic credentials include a Business Administration degree with honors and full scholarship from Universidad Metropolitana in Puerto Rico and an MBA from American University in Washington D.C. with two joint specializations in International Business and Global Emerging Markets from the School of International Affairs and the School of Business.


By the age of twelve, Melvin’s travels spanned fourteen different countries, and multiple continents from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, to the Middle East. His life-long international experience has proven to be invaluable to the state of Arkansas. Melvin is completely fluent in English and Spanish. In addition, he understands multiple languages as well. He has two wonderful and loving children.