Dr. Witney Schneidman is a senior international advisor for Africa at Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC, where he has been since 2012. At Covington, Dr. Schneidman works with international and African companies to mitigate risk, resolve disputes and help companies align their commercial objectives with the economic development objectives of African countries. He also works with a number of NGOs on a pro-bono basis who are seeking to enhance their activities on the continent. Prior to joining Covington, for eleven years he was president of Schneidman & Associates International which did similar type of work.
During the Obama presidential campaign, Dr. Schneidman was co-chair of the Africa Experts Group and a member of the Presidential Transition Team. In the Clinton Administration, Dr. Schneidman served as deputy assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, responsible for economic and commercial issues in sub-Saharan Africa. His responsibilities included the passage and implementation of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, coordinating the U.S.-SADC Forum, the U.S.-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission and the U.S.-Nigeria Joint Economic Forum.
Dr. Schneidman is the author of Engaging Africa: Washington and the Fall of Portugal’s Colonial Empire in Africa, which Foreign Affairs described as “a must-read for anyone interested in decolonization or Cold War diplomacy.” He is the author of the report, A Ten Year Strategy for Increasing Capital Flows to Africa, published by Peterson Institute for International Economics, and “Twelve Years of the African Growth and Opportunity Act,” published by the Brookings Institution. He has written extensively on African economic, commercial and political issues, and has served as a commentator for CNN, the BBC and NPR, among other media outlets.
He received a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in international relations from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and his B.A. (Cum Laude) from Temple University.