Witney Schneidman

Senior International Advisor for Africa

Download V-card

Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5375



  • University of Southern California, School of International Relations, Ph.D., 1987
  • University of Dar es Salaam, M.A., 1977
  • Temple University, B.A., 1975
    • cum laude

Witney Schneidman has nearly 40 years of experience working across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Drawing on his experience in the State Department, the World Bank, think tanks and his own consulting practice, Dr. Schneidman, a non-lawyer, has advised energy, technology, consumer and health companies, among others, on projects in more than 30 African countries.

Dr. Schneidman provides strategic advice on the varied political, economic, social and regulatory issues that are critical to companies’ success in Africa. This includes issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility, compliance, market entry and risk mitigation. He played a leading role in the passage and recent reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and was a delegate to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by President Obama during his visit to Kenya.

Dr. Schneidman leads Covington’s Africa initiative and is a senior member of the firm’s Public Policy and Government Affairs Practice Group, the International Strategy Group and the International Trade and Finance Group.

Dr. Schneidman has written extensively on African economic and political issues and aired his views on CBS News, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC and the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation, among other media outlets.

Previous Experience

  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (1997-2001)
  • President, Schneidman & Associates International (2001-2012)
  • Non-Resident Fellow, Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution (2011-present)   
  • Co-Chair of Africa Experts Group, Obama Campaign for the Presidency and Member of the Presidential Transition Team
  • Special Adviser to the Vice President for Africa, World Bank
  • Center for Strategic and International Studies, Senior Adviser, Africa Program   

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Trade Advisory Committee on Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  • Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee, U.S. Export-Import Bank
  • Council on Foreign Relations
  • Africa Program Advisory Board, Woodrow Wilson Center
  • Member, Corporate Council on Africa
  • The Bretton Woods Committee

Publications and Speeches

Print PDF Word Version Print this page