7 December digital press briefing on the US-Africa Business Forum agenda

7 December digital press briefing on the US-Africa Business Forum agenda
Published date:
Monday, 05 December 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY   |  December 7  Digital Press Briefing on U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary of State, Molly Phee, and National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs, Judd Devermont. 

EVENT:  Please join us on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, for a digital press briefing with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary of State, Molly Phee and National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs, Judd Devermont.  

Assistant Secretary Phee and Senior Director Devermont will discuss the U.S. strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa, the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, and highlight the U.S. commitment to the African continent.

After brief opening remarks, the speakers will take questions from participating journalists.

DETAILS:  

Speakers:             Molly Phee, U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary of State Judd Devermont, National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs

Date:                     Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Time:                     16:00 Johannesburg | 14:00 GMT | 09:00 Washington, D.C.  

Language:             English.  French, Arabic and Continental Portuguese interpretation will be provided. 

Ground rules:       The briefing will be on the record.    

Login info:            To be provided upon RSVP.  

RSVP:                     Please RSVP by clicking here  

Twitter:                  Join the conversation #AFHubPress and follow us on @AfricaMediaHub.  

Background:         Please see the media note linked here.

 

BIOGRAPHIES: 

 

Molly Phee, U.S. Department of State Bureau of African Affairs Assistant Secretary of State

Molly Phee, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, was sworn in as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs on September 30, 2021. She most recently served as the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation. She was U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan from 2015-2017. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Additionally, she was the Acting Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, as well as Deputy Security Council Coordinator at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, handling UN engagement in Africa and the Middle East for both portfolios. Earlier in her career, Phee served on the National Security Council as Director for Iraq and as the Senior Civilian Representative of the Coalition Provisional Authority to Maysan Province, Iraq. She began her career at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, and worked at U.S. Embassies in Cairo, Egypt and Kuwait City, Kuwait.

A native of Chicago, Ambassador Phee is a graduate of Indiana University and earned a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She has received the Distinguished Honor Award, the Robert C. Frasure Memorial Award for conflict resolution and peacemaking, the Baker-Wilkins Award for Outstanding Deputy Chief of Mission, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Order of the British Empire Award, and a Presidential Rank Award. She speaks Arabic.

Judd Devermont, National Security Council Senior Director for African Affairs

Judd Devermont is the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). He most recently served as the special advisor for Africa strategy at the NSC from 2021-2022. Prior to the NSC he served as the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) from 2018 to 2021. Mr. Devermont previously was national intelligence officer for Africa from 2015-2018. In this position, he led the U.S. intelligence community’s analytic efforts on sub-Saharan African issues and served as the DNI’s personal representative at interagency policy meetings. Mr. Devermont also was the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on sub-Saharan Africa from 2013-2015. Prior to this role, he served as the National Security Council director for Somalia, Nigeria, the Sahel, and the African Union from 2011 to 2013. In this position, he contributed to the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, signed by President Obama in 2012, and managed the process that resulted in U.S. recognition of the Somali government for the first time since 1991. Mr. Devermont spent two years abroad working at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Devermont has lived in South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire, and he has traveled widely across the continent. He has a master’s degree in African studies from Yale University and bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California, Los Angeles 

LOGISTICS:   

  • Participants should log in to join the conference 10 minutes early.    
  • Participants will be asked to type in their name, press affiliation, and location.    
  • The speakers will give brief opening remarks, and then the moderator will open the floor to questions.    
  • Participants will be instructed to type their questions or indicate to the moderator in the chat that they wish to ask a live question.  Journalists may also submit written questions in advance when registering on Eventbrite or via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   
  • If you experience technical difficulties during the briefing, you may send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to alert the moderator to any issues.  

 

Previous briefing

 

MEDIA ADVISORY  |  December 1  Digital Press Briefing with Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce and Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, Department of Commerce. 


The U.S.-Africa Business Forum and Deal Room will take place on Day 2 of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit.

EVENT:  Please join us on Thursday, December 1, 2022, for a digital press briefing with Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce and Camille Richardson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, Department of Commerce for the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.  Hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Corporate Council on Africa, in partnership with the Prosper Africa initiative, the Business Forum will focus on advancing two-way trade and investment partnerships that bolster Africa’s role in the global economy, scale innovation and entrepreneurship, and drive advancements in key sectors. The Deal Room, hosted by Prosper Africa, is a media room for announcements of bold, new, and expanded commitments from U.S. and African businesses, governments, and investors.

AS Venkataraman and DAS Richardson will discuss the upcoming U.S.-Africa Business Forum’s agenda to advance mutually beneficial partnerships that create jobs and drive inclusive and sustainable growth on both sides of the Atlantic. After brief opening remarks, the speakers will take questions from participating journalists.

DETAILS:  

Speakers:           

Arun Venkataraman

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Department of Commerce

Camille Richardson

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, Department of Commerce for the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

Date:                    Thursday, December 1, 2022  

Time:                   15:00 Johannesburg | 13:00 GMT | 08:00 Washington, D.C.  

Language:           English. French interpretation will be provided.  

Ground rules:      The briefing will be on the record.    

Login info:           To be provided upon RSVP.  

RSVP:                   Please RSVP by clicking here  

Twitter:                 Join the conversation #AFHubPress and follow us on @AfricaMediaHub.  

Background:        Please see the media note linked here. 

 

BIOGRAPHIES: 

Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Arun Venkataraman is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Venkataraman has over 20 years of experience advising companies, international organizations, and the U.S. government on international trade issues. Most recently, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of Commerce, advising the Department of Commerce on trade and other international economic matters. Before joining the Biden-Harris Administration, Arun was a Senior Director at Visa, leading global government engagement strategy on a range of international policy issues including digital economy, trade, tax, and sanctions. He also served as Trade & Investment Policy Advisor at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he counseled multinational firms and other organizations on e-commerce, intellectual property rights and U.S. and foreign trade policies.

Camille Richardson Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa, Department of Commerce

Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa (MEA), Camille Richardson directs the International Trade Administration’s efforts to increase U.S. market access and commercial partnerships in a region undergoing historic transformation and economic growth.

She leads a headquarters team of desk officers in Washington and a network of 18 commercial posts staffed by Foreign Service Officers and local staff across North Africa and the Levant, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Gulf. Under her leadership, this team helps American companies succeed in some of the fastest-growing and most challenging economies in the world to do business. MEA is home to about 1.4 billion people with a disproportionally high number of the population under the age of 35, making it a key region of focus for the President’s Global Infrastructure Initiative with a significant potential for growth, innovation, and partnership.

LOGISTICS:   

  • Participants should log in to join the conference 10 minutes early.    
  • Participants will be asked to type in their name, press affiliation, and location.    
  • The speakers will give brief opening remarks, and then the moderator will open the floor to questions.    
  • Participants will be instructed to type their questions or indicate to the moderator in the chat that they wish to ask a live question.  Journalists may also submit written questions in advance when registering on Eventbrite or via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   
  • If you experience technical difficulties during the briefing, you may send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  to alert the moderator to any issues.  
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