Oyango A. Snell is the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of the California Lawyers Foundation. Snell comes to CLA from the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) where he served as the organization’s first in-house general counsel in its 114-year history. Holding previous positions representing national, regional, and statewide associations, Snell brings significant association management and government relations experience to CLA at a time when the voluntary bar association is looking to grow its membership and increase engagement with the three branches of state government.
Snell, since March 2017, has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary at WSPA, a nonprofit business association organized similarly to CLA and based in Sacramento. Among his many achievements, he created a first-in-class in-house legal advocacy and human resources program, provided legal advocacy for monumental climate policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and created a leadership initiative for women in the oil and natural gas industry.
Previously, Snell served as the chief legislative and regulatory counsel for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) in Washington, D.C., from January 2012 to March 2017. From August 2009 to December 2011, he was a solo practitioner in Columbus, Ohio, providing legal counsel and regulatory advocacy to various business groups.
Snell is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) credentialed by the American Society of Association Executives and he earned his Juris Doctor (JD) from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.