World Affairs Council of Philadelphia Names Craig Snyder New President and CEO

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that it has appointed Craig Snyder as its new President and CEO. Snyder replaces Claudia McBride, who is stepping down after 25 years with the Council, the last six as President. Snyder’s appointment follows a six-month search by the Board.

A political consultant and Managing Partner of IKON Public Affairs, a highly respected, non-partisan government relations and campaign consulting firm in Washington, D.C., Snyder, 51, will lead an organization where he previously worked twice earlier in his career. From 1983-89, he was Program Director for the organization. In 1991, he served as Vice President of Programming, where he was widely credited with propelling programming to a new level. A widely-praised conference that he convened for the Council in 1985, featuring former Secretaries of Defense Weinberger, McNamara and Schlesinger debating strategic defense, resulted in both a book and a documentary.

Craig also brings extensive experience in legislative and foreign affairs to his new post. He served for four years in the office of the late Sen. Arlen Specter, first as Legislative Assistant for Foreign and Defense Policy (1994-96) and then as Chief of Staff (1996-97), where he managed the Senator’s six offices with a staff of 50 and a budget of $3 million a year. When Sen. Specter chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Snyder's role as Chief of Staff made him the senior Congressional staffer with oversight responsibility for the CIA and all other Intelligence Agencies of the U.S.

“In Craig Snyder, we have found a leader who combines the intellect of a global think tank consultant with the executional prowess of someone who makes things happen,” said John L. Walsh, President and COO of UGI and Chairman of the Board of Directors. “His intimate knowledge of and passion for the World Affairs Council, combined with a breadth of unique experience in foreign, legislative and global affairs, will be a tremendous asset to the Council.”

Craig said that his return to the World Affairs Council was a long-held dream:

“I cannot express how thrilled I am to be returning to an organization about which I feel so passionately,” he said. “I am ‘Exhibit A’ in successfully demonstrating the Council’s mission of creating global citizens. My early experiences with the World Affairs Council helped shape my career path and left me with a lifelong love of global affairs. I am very honored to return to the Council and continue the fine work that Claudia McBride and the Board have undertaken.”

Craig graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania (B.A., Philosophy and Political Economy, ’83) and earned a J.D. from Temple University School of Law in 1989. He served as a Commercial Litigation attorney at Dechert from 1989-91. He twice ran for public office – once for the Pennsylvania General Assembly (1990) and once for the U.S. House of Representatives (1992).

In 1997, he founded IKON Public Affairs. It has represented not-for-profit, corporate and political campaign clients, including many prominent Philadelphia civic and cultural institutions. One of the firm’s long-standing clients has been Autism Speaks, for whom IKON helped secure the passage of four major pieces of federal legislation and autism insurance reform legislation in 31 states.