Witney Schneidman is a senior international advisor for Africa at Covington & Burling LLP where he has been since 2012. At Covington, 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.

Over the last fifteen years, Schneidman has worked on a variety of projects in a number of sectors in Africa. In Liberia, on behalf of the RLJ Companies, he helped to develop the $30 million Liberia Enterprise Development Fund and an 87 room, four star hotel, the first to be built in Liberia in 25 years. In collaboration with UNAIDS and the UN Foundation, he developed a public opinion survey on the “National Perceptions of the Official Response to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic.” Schneidman has represented clients, including Heineken, SABMiller and Diageo in initiatives at the World Health Organization. Dr. Schneidman helped to create the Africa-China-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue on behalf of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brenthurst Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has also worked for compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative on behalf of the Hess Corporation. Schneidman was also part of a Covington team, led by the former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, which helped the South African cell phone company, the MTN Group, resolve a very large commercial dispute in Nigeria in a manner that was equitable, amicable and transparent.

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.

Witney Schneidman is a senior international advisor for Africa at Covington & Burling LLP where he has been since 2012. At Covington, 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.

Over the last fifteen years, Schneidman has worked on a variety of projects in a number of sectors in Africa. In Liberia, on behalf of the RLJ Companies, he helped to develop the $30 million Liberia Enterprise Development Fund and an 87 room, four star hotel, the first to be built in Liberia in 25 years. In collaboration with UNAIDS and the UN Foundation, he developed a public opinion survey on the “National Perceptions of the Official Response to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic.” Schneidman has represented clients, including Heineken, SABMiller and Diageo in initiatives at the World Health Organization. Dr. Schneidman helped to create the Africa-China-U.S. Trilateral Dialogue on behalf of the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brenthurst Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has also worked for compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative on behalf of the Hess Corporation. Schneidman was also part of a Covington team, led by the former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, which helped the South African cell phone company, the MTN Group, resolve a very large commercial dispute in Nigeria in a manner that was equitable, amicable and transparent.

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.

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