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Dr. Lawrence Spinelli Named Acting OPIC President by President Obama


Tuesday, January 27, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama named Dr. Lawrence Spinelli, longtime Director of Public Affairs for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), to be Acting President of OPIC on January 20, 2009.
 
Dr. Spinelli had directed OPIC’s public affairs programs since 1998. In that capacity he was responsible for all public diplomacy and outreach activities.  He spearheaded several OPIC initiatives, including the agency’s Partners Program, which is a collaboration with organizations throughout the United States; a series of nationwide workshops for minority and women-owned businesses; and OPIC’s international investment conferences, held annually since 2003. Dr. Spinelli also served as OPIC’s Director of Small Business from 1998 until 2002.
 
Prior to joining OPIC, Dr. Spinelli served as Vice President for Corporate Communications at the National Alliance of Business.  He spent over a decade on Capitol Hill as a policy adviser and
Dr. Lawrence Spinelli, Acting OPIC President
Dr. Lawrence Spinelli, Acting OPIC President
communications director for three members of Congress, including then-Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.  He was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drew University, where he directed off-campus programs in Washington and London, and was a Professorial Lecturer at American University.  Dr. Spinelli is the author of Dry Diplomacy: the United States, Great Britain and Prohibition.
 
Dr. Spinelli received his undergraduate degree from Drew University, a master of arts degree in government from Georgetown University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from New York University.
 
OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971. It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers.
 
OPIC’s political risk insurance and financing help U.S. businesses of all sizes invest in more than 150 emerging markets and developing nations worldwide. Over the agency’s 35-year history, OPIC has supported $177 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over $13 billion in host-government revenues and create over 800,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $71 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 271,000 American jobs.