The students and faculty at ALA are proud to welcome Witney Schneidman to campus this week. An adviser to both President Clinton and President Obama, and long-time champion of African development, Dr. Schneidman has come to ALA to share his experience and expertise with our students.
Dr. Schneidman spoke with humor and candor about his education and career path. He recounted his experiences studying for his Master’s Degree in Dar es Salaam. He also shared with the students his goals and aspirations when he was their age, and how he made those a reality. Dr. Schneidman went on to become Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President Clinton. More recently, he helped Presidential candidate Barack Obama formulate his African policy.
When the students were given an opportunity to question Dr. Schneidman, they asked, in their usual form, questions that challenged the speaker. Questions ranged from whether Dr. Schneidman perceived Idi Amin as a great man for conquering Uganda, to if he considered China’s growing power in African to be beneficial or not, to whether he thought that carbon trading as proposed in the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit was beneficial or detrimental to African growth.
About Dr. Schneidman:
Witney Schneidman is the Founder and of Schneidman & Associates International, a Washington-based, Africa-focused business development consulting firm. SAI works with American businesses to help them establish or enhance market share and position in Africa. SAI also works with African businesses by assisting them in establishing a presence in the American market and identifying potential partners or sources of capital. SAI is an active member of the Corporate Council on Africa and the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to establishing this company, Mr. Schneidman served in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. He was responsible for economic and commercial issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and had regional responsibility for Southern Africa. Among his activities was ensuring the passage and implementation of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, and the establishment of the US-SADC Forum, the US-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission and the US-Nigeria Joint Economic Partnership Committee. In addition to being a member of both official traveling delegations, Dr. Schneidman helped to organize and follow-up on President Clinton’s two visits to Africa.