Witney Schneidman

Senior International Advisor

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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 is a senior international advisor for Africa.  Dr. Schneidman, a non-lawyer, has a deep understanding of many of the major African countries, as well as uniquely valuable insight into the recurrent challenges and opportunities across the continent.  He provides strategic advice on the varied political, economic, social and regulatory issues that are critical to companies’ success in Africa.  Dr. Schneidman’s work focuses on US-African relations, trade and investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, and issues related to economic growth and regional integration on the continent.

Previously, Dr. Schneidman was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  He played a key role in ensuring the passage and implementation of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, and the establishment of the U.S.-SADC Forum, the U.S.-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission and the U.S. Nigeria Joint Economic Partnership Committee.

Dr. Schneidman founded a consulting firm that assisted US and international companies in a variety of sectors, such as health, energy, mining and financial services, to build market share and position in Africa.

Dr. Schneidman is a nonresident fellow at the Africa Growth Initiative in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution.

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

  • U.S. Department of State, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
  • 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

Publications and Speeches

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