Return to Cynthia P. Schneider

Full Biography

Cynthia P. Schneider is a nonresident senior fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. As a co-convener of the inaugural Action Group at the 2014 U.S.-Islamic World Forum, Schneider played a leading role in the successful launch of the Timbuktu Renaissance Initiative.

Schneider teaches courses in diplomacy and culture in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and co-directs the university's Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics. She leverages her passion for arts and culture to support a number of initiatives, including MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television), which grew out of the Arts and Culture Leaders Dialogue sessions she convened at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum.

From 1984 to 2005, she was a member of the art history faculty at Georgetown, and published on Rembrandt and 17th century Dutch art. She also organized exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. From 1998 to 2001, Schneider served as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, during which time she led initiatives in cultural diplomacy, biotechnology, cybersecurity and education.

In 2001, she was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defence Exceptional Public Service Award. Schneider serves on multiple boards, including Wesley Theological Seminary, Sustainable Preservation Initiative and the Middle East advisory board of Search for Common Ground. She received her bachelor’s and doctorate from Harvard University.