Washington, D.C. — Today, President Joe Biden announced that Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, has been named as an inaugural member of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States.
The council will play a key role in strengthening political, economic, and cultural ties between the United States and Africa, as well as promoting trade, investment, and educational exchanges.
Gaspard is a former ambassador to South Africa, senior Obama White House official, and president of the Open Society Foundations. He brings to the position a wealth of experience in global diplomacy, trade negotiations, health outcomes, and labor and human rights.
“President Biden has made an excellent choice in selecting Patrick to serve on this important council,” said former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), chair of the CAP board of directors. “He brings decades of leadership in international diplomacy, public policy, and philanthropy to the position. I know he will lean on his diplomatic experience and his deep connections to the African diaspora to help strengthen and revitalize the unique relationship between the United States and the diverse nations of Africa.”
Gaspard has headed CAP since 2021, leading the think tank’s pursuit of a more equitable society and a stronger democracy—both at home and around the world. During his tenure at the Open Society Foundations, he managed one of the world’s largest private philanthropies. He oversaw investments to help communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and helped shape the organization’s commitment to civil rights in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
As ambassador to South Africa, Gaspard led the effort to redesign the U.S. government’s HIV/AIDS initiative to integrate it effectively into the South African health care system. He also spearheaded trade negotiations that led to an unprecedented 10-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which promotes economic growth on the continent through duty-free access to the U.S. market.
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