Meet Our Board: Peter Selfridge

Peter Selfridge has long idolized the statesmen and women of American history. As a child, he would consume biographies of Washington and Franklin, reveling in their skills as leaders and diplomats. It was the heroes of the American Revolution, American and French alike, who fed his young imagination and ultimately led him to a career in international affairs —- a career that also serendipitously afforded him an opportunity to pursue interests in French history and culture.

Currently, Peter is the Global Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy at SAP, the German-based, multinational software company. In this role, Peter is responsible for promoting technological transformation in the public sector and the positive role played by digital technologies in addressing economic and societal challenges around the world. Peter is often required to prepare company leadership for engagements with top government officials worldwide and has had the honor of meeting President Macron as a result. He also had the distinct pleasure of interviewing President François Hollande not long ago.

Peter previously served as the U.S. Chief of Protocol during the second term of the Obama Administration, where he acted as the President’s representative to the foreign diplomatic corps posted in Washington, D.C. —- a role that afforded him the honor of credentialing the previous French ambassador. His other duties included greeting visiting foreign leaders to the capital; supporting presidential delegations on their overseas travel; and planning and executing high-level summits and multilateral events. Earlier, he served as President Obama’s Advance and Operations Director, a position he also previously managed for Vice President Biden during the first two years of the Obama Administration. Peter began his career in Washington, D.C. as a staff member for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and also served as a scheduling assistant to President William J. Clinton where he witnessed the State Visit of President and Mrs. Chirac in 1996.

The common thread in Peter’s career has been his interest in and commitment to international affairs. His passion for building trans-Atlantic relationships is particularly strong and has provided the impetus for past, current and future work, along with frequent visits to Paris. Serendipity indeed.

Peter is married to Parita Shah. The couple lives in Washington, D.C. with their young daughter, Saraya.

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