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Riva Levinson

President & CEO
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K. Riva Levinson is a political and business strategist, solving challenges for clients across governments and continents. Her primary area of focus is in Sub-Saharan Africa, where she works on projects ranging from political risk to election strategy. Notable achievements include advising former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first democratically elected female president,  and counseling Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi, during her period of exile.


Riva began her career in international consulting as an operative at Washington’s first bipartisan lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly. In this capacity, Riva traveled to some of the world’s pivotal moments in history, including Angola during the tentative peace in the early 1990s; South Africa at the end of apartheid; and Iraq immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Riva later became Managing Director for BKSH & Associates, a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam. In 2006, Riva founded KRL International, a consulting and lobbying firm based in Washington, DC. She has managed projects of consequence in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe.


Riva regularly contributes to The Hill and is the author of the award-winning memoir, “Choosing the Hero: My Improbable Journey and the Rise of Africa's First Woman President,” chronicling the development of her career alongside her relationship with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Riva has been quoted in Forbes, Fortune, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post and National Public Radio's “All Things Considered,” among others.


In addition to her work at KRL, Riva serves on the advisory council of Last Mile Health, a non-profit healthcare provider dedicated to saving lives in the world’s most remote communities, and on the board of directors of Invest Africa, a membership organization interested in stimulating investment, economic growth, employment and poverty reduction in Africa.


Riva holds a bachelor's in economics and international affairs from Tufts University and a master's in security studies from Georgetown University.

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