Walter H. Kansteiner III

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Walter H. Kansteiner III
Walter Kansteiner 0702.jpg
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
In office
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded bySusan Rice
Succeeded byConstance Berry Newman
Personal details
Born (1955-11-11) November 11, 1955 (age 63)[1]
Evanston, Illinois
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Frances "Franny" Kansteiner
ResidenceMiddleburg, Virginia
Alma materWashington and Lee University (B.A., 1977)
American University (M.A., 1981)
Virginia Theological Seminary (M.T.S., 1985)

Walter H. Kansteiner III (born November 14, 1955) was the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from June 2001 until November 2003.


In the late 1980s, Kansteiner was appointed Director of Economic Studies at the Institute on Religion and Democracy.[2] In May 1989, Kansteiner joined the State Department's policy planning staff as Africa director. He served in this position until June 1991, when he moved to the National Security Council as director for African affairs. In April 1992, he was appointed as the National Security Council Deputy Press Secretary.[1]

As a founding principal of The Scowcroft Group,[3] Kansteiner has advised corporations on mergers, acquisitions and privatizations throughout Africa in the telecommunications, forestry, mining, financial services, health care, and aviation industries. Kansteiner advised the buy side on the $1.3 billion privatization of Telkom South Africa, to date the largest privatization in Africa. He also was Executive Vice President of W. H. Kansteiner, Inc. in Chicago, an agricultural commodity trading and manufacturing company specializing in tropical commodities in the developing world.[4][5]

In June 2001 he was appointed as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In 2003, he left the post, citing family reasons.[6][7] He was appointed in April 2004 as independent non-executive director to the board of Spescom Limited.[4]

Kansteiner is on the board of directors of the Corporate Council on Africa,[8] African Development Foundation,[9] and Sierra Rutile.[10]


Kansteiner is married; has two children, Beverly and Chalker; and resides in Middleburg, Virginia. His wife, Frances Kansteiner, is from Alabama. Her father, William Houston Blount, ran Vulcan Materials for many years, and his brother, Winton M. "Red" Blount, was Postmaster General in Richard Nixon's cabinet. She is a Board member of the WILD Foundation. Red and his brother, Houston, founded Blount Brothers Construction, a large construction and manufacturing firm formerly headquartered in Montgomery. It was later renamed Blount International and moved to Portland, Oregon.

Frances Kansteiner was an officer, director, and advisor to the WILD Foundation.[11] She also on the board of Stratford Hall.

Memberships and affiliations[edit]


  1. ^ a b Archived from the original on September 3, 2004. Retrieved August 5, 2005. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Archived August 3, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Archived April 8, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b Archived November 5, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Africa: Powell Selects Kansteiner for Africa Post". AllAfrica. 2001-03-09. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  6. ^ Archived February 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Nominations and Appointment". The White House. 2002-03-18. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  8. ^ Archived May 27, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Archived May 3, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Archived November 18, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2000-05-29. Retrieved 2000-05-29. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Susan E. Rice
United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Succeeded by
Constance Berry Newman