U.S. Chamber Announces Former Ambassador Donald H. Gips as Chair of U.S.-South Africa Business Council

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 8:00pm

Gips to Help Lead U.S. Business Community’s Economic Engagement in South Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-South Africa Business Council announced today that former United States Ambassador to South Africa Donald H. Gips will serve as chairman of the organization. Gips will also serve with General James L. Jones as honorary co-chairman of the Chamber’s Africa Business Initiative.

“After several years representing the United States on the Continent and experiencing the rich culture of the country, I am honored to join with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in working with the South African business community and government to explore opportunities for growth and economic development that benefits both nations,” Ambassador Gips said. “The people of South Africa share the same spirit of innovation and determination that Americans take such pride in, and that is why these two countries will achieve great success when they come together to work toward common goals.”

Ambassador Gips brings years of regional knowledge and experience to the U.S.-South Africa Business Council. As its chairman, he will lead the council in its work to encourage trade and investment between the two countries. The council, which serves as a platform for commercial engagement at the most senior levels of business and government, aims to enhance investment in the region of southern Africa by both U.S. and South African companies.

“We are honored to have Ambassador Gips join the Chamber’s efforts to ensure mutual success for both the U.S. and South African economies,” said Scott Eisner, vice president of African Affairs and International Operations at the Chamber. “Opportunities for increased economic engagement across Africa are abundant, and it is crucial that we now work together to overcome the hurdles that previously prevented trade and U.S. investment in southern Africa.”

President Barack Obama nominated Ambassador Gips as Ambassador to South Africa in June 2009 where he served until January 2013. He was recognized for his efforts to promote improved relations with South Africa when the U.S. State Department chose him as the recipient of the 2010 Sue M. Cobb Award for Exemplary Diplomatic Service.

Under President Obama, Gips was a leader on the Presidential Transition Team and in the White House, where he ran the office of Presidential Personnel. Ambassador Gips also served in the White House during the Clinton administration, working as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore. Before entering government, he was head of Corporate Development at Level 3 Communications and was a management consultant to Fortune 500 companies at McKinsey & Company. He is currently a Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group.

The U.S.-South Africa Business Council focuses on a growth agenda by advancing policies in Washington that support trade with Africa.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 50 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 116 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.