Weber Shandwick Chairman Jack Leslie was appointed on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA).The advisory council, consisting of 23 private sector leaders representing small, medium and large companies, will advise President Obama on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.
President Obama established the council in 2014 as part of his commitment to deepen engagement between the United States private sector and African governments and businesses. The 2016 PAC-DBIA appointments were announced in conjunction with the second U.S.-Africa Business Forum, an event that connects hundreds of American and African business leaders, along with African heads of state, to discuss overall economic growth and to stimulate additional trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
Private sector engagement through initiatives like the PAC-DBIA is driving our efforts to expand trade, speed investments, build new technologies, and grow new and transformative industries across Africa.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce
Leslie was appointed by President Obama in 2009 – and re-appointed in 2016 – to serve as chairman of the board of directors of the U.S. African Development Foundation, an independent government agency that provides grants and supports development to benefit marginalized groups in sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently Chairman of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid, Chairman of Duke Global Health Institute’s Board of Advisors and Chairman of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Jack is also a member of the board of advisors for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
Africa’s rising is one of the most significant and exciting trends of our time. Like any region, there are challenges, but I’ve been closely watching Africa’s development for many years and am looking forward to continuing to bridge efforts by the private and public sectors in both the U.S. and Africa to advance commercial investment in a region that I know will contribute enormously to our world economy in the years ahead
As Chairman of Weber Shandwick, Leslie has been integral to the firm’s expansion into Africa. Since opening a fully owned office in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2011, Weber Shandwick has rapidly expanded to service a wide array of clients both within the public and private sectors. Last year, the firm worked in more than 26 countries across the continent. Weber Shandwick’s Africa team offers deep expertise in integrated PR, digital and marketing solutions, in addition to upholding a reputation steeped in understanding of the local markets where they operate.