Dana L. Banks
  • Senior Advisor, U.S.-Africa Business Center

Dana L. Banks serves as a senior advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Center, where she continues her role in supporting the U.S. business community in realizing the $15 billion of commitments made during President Biden’s 2022 U.S. Africa Leaders Summit.

With over 24 years of diplomatic service, Banks most recently served at the National Security Council as President Biden’s special assistant to and special adviser for the 2022 U.S. Africa Leaders Summit and senior director for Africa where she advised, coordinated, and led U.S.-Africa policy for the Biden-Harris administration from 2021 to 2023.

Prior to her appointment to the National Security Council, Banks was deputy director of the Foreign Service Institute’s Leadership and Management School’s Division of Executive Development. From 2017 to 2020, she served as deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Togo, and public affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania.

In Washington, Banks was acting deputy director for Secretary Hilary Clinton’s Executive Secretariat, a senior watch officer in the State Department’s Operations Center, special assistant to Assistant Secretary for Africa Jendayi Frazer, and a desk officer for Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso. Her other assignments included positions as the human rights officer at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti and a consular and public diplomacy officer at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand.

Banks is a life member on the Council on Foreign Relations and the recipient of numerous State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards. She is also a 2004 alumna of the Institute for Career Advancement and a Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow.

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Banks graduated from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School with a master’s in international relations.