A Georgetown University faculty member since 1984, Cynthia Schneider teaches in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Foreign Service. In addition, she is a nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she belongs to the working group on biotechnology. Prior to teaching at Georgetown, she was assistant curator of European paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Schneider served as ambassador to the Netherlands. Among other achievements, she organized an international conference on biotechnology, the proceedings of which appeared in the Journal of Biolaw and Business. She also organized a follow-up conference together with the European Commission on the Environment and the U.S. Mission to the European Union, and later partnered with Royal Dutch Shell and the Rand Corporation to host a conference on cyber security. In the Netherlands she was an advocate for American businesses, and for her efforts on behalf of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry, the Office of the Secretary of Defense awarded her the Exceptional Public Service Order.
Ambassador Schneider is a member of the supervisory board of the international food conglomerate Royal Ahold, and also serves on the boards of Humanity in Action and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. She is a nonresident Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown. Author of several books and articles on Rembrandt and Dutch art of the seventeenth century, she currently is working on a book on culture and diplomacy.
She earned undergraduate and doctoral degrees in fine arts from Harvard University.