Grant Harris

Former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Council, The White House; currently CEO of Harris Africa Partners
Grant Harris
  • Local:

    Under $10,000*

  • US East:

    $10,001 - $20,000*

  • US West:

    $10,001 - $20,000*

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For four years, Grant Harris served as the principal advisor to President Barack Obama on issues related to Africa, serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the White House from August 2011 to August 2015.  In this role, Harris initiated and coordinated U.S. policies toward the 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including security, political, and economic matters.  Harris conceived of the historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, held in Washington, DC, in 2014.  The Summit generated $37 billion in new commitments to support trade, investment, and development across Africa.  Harris also launched the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative, to support emerging leaders; was the primary architect of the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa; and oversaw U.S. efforts to create and implement the National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking.  Prior to this position, Harris was Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.  Previously, Mr. Harris was an associate at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he focused on international financings and business transactions.  Prior to that, Harris served in the African Affairs Directorate at the White House under President Bill Clinton and, before that, in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations under Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. 

Currently, Harris is CEO of Harris Africa Partners LLC and advises companies on strategy, policy, and mitigating risk with respect to doing business in Africa.  Harris holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a Master’s in Public Affairs, with Distinction, from Princeton University, and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley.  His writings have appeared in such publications as Yale Journal of Law & Policy, Berkeley Journal of International Law, Israel Law Review (peer-reviewed), and The San Francisco Chronicle.  He is a frequent conference speaker and has been widely quoted on Africa issues in U.S., international, and African media. 

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