Updated at 3:30 p.m.
Covington & Burling has started an Africa practice with the addition of a former senior State Department official who specializes in matters concerning the continent, the firm announced on Monday.
Witney Schneidman, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs during the Clinton administration, joined Covington's Washington office as a senior international adviser, focusing on investment in Sub-Saharan Africa, U.S.-African relations and economic growth in Africa. Schneidman, who isn't a lawyer, came to Covington from Schneidman & Associates International, a small Africa-centric consulting firm that he founded in 2001.
Scheidman said everything at his firm was "going great." But he said he couldn't pass up the opportunity to work at a larger firm with a greater reach and a "very collegial" and "very supportive" atmosphere.
At Schneidman & Associates International, Schneidman helped develop RLJ Kendeja Resort & Villas in Liberia, the first hotel built in the country in 25 years. He also assisted Diageo PLC, Heineken International BV and SABMiller PLC with World Health Organization projects and Hess Corp. on compliance with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, which calls on countries to disclose payments that oil, mining and gas companies make to them.