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Ambassador James B. Cunningham

Term of Appointment: 8/2012 to present

Ambassador James B. Cunningham
Ambassador James B. Cunningham

Ambassador Cunningham was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan on 08/12/2012.   Ambassador Cunningham previously served as the Deputy Ambassador.

Before his tenure in Kabul, Ambassador Cunningham was the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, beginning August 2008.  Prior to Israel, he was U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, responsible for the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions of China.  Previously,  he was Ambassador and Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (1999-2004) and Acting Permanent Representative from January to September 2001. Ambassador Cunningham holds the rank of Career Minister in the Foreign Service.

After early tours in Stockholm, Washington, Rome and the U.S. Mission to NATO, he served as Chief of Staff to NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner from 1988 to 1990. He advised the Secretary General on all NATO issues in the context of the unification of Germany and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Just after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Ambassador Cunningham became Deputy Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to the UN. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Director of the State Department's Office of European Security and Political Affairs, with responsibility for many aspects of U.S. policy toward Europe. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Rome from 1996 to 1999.

Ambassador Cunningham was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University, with degrees in political science and psychology. He is married to Leslie Genier of Mineville, New York. They have two daughters. Ambassador Cunningham is the recipient of the Department's Superior, Merit and Performance awards; the National Performance Review's Hammer Award for innovation in government management; the President's Meritorious Service Award; and the Conference of Presidents of major Jewish Organizations' National Service Award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Asia Society.

Visit the website of the Embassy of the United States in Kabul, Afghanistan


USAID Mission Director William Hammink

Term of Appointment: 7/2013 to present

USAID/Afghanistan Mission Director William Hammink
USAID/Afghanistan Mission Director William Hammink

William Hammink became Director of USAID’s largest mission on   June 20. Mr. Hammink was sworn in as USAID/Afghanistan mission director by USAID Administrator Raj Shah in Washington, DC.

Mr. Hammink is a Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service, with more than 32 years at USAID working on international development and humanitarian programs.

He served as USAID mission director in India from August 2011 until his Afghanistan appointment, overseeing a $109 million program addressing the critical challenges of food security, climate change and health. Under his leadership, the mission engaged in a new model of development cooperation, in which U.S. assistance was a powerful catalyst in the creation of innovative alliances with Indian public and private partners to reduce poverty in India.  This new development model also sought to leverage Indian creativity, expertise and resources to source, and scale innovations being developed and tested in India that would benefit vulnerable populations in other countries.

Prior to his mission in India, Mr. Hammink was USAID mission director in Sudan from 2009 until 2011. The Agency helped parties of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement implement many of the agreement’s provisions, including nationwide elections in April 2010—the first multiparty elections since 1986—and a peaceful, on-time referendum on South Sudan’s self-determination in January 2011.

Earlier, Mr. Hammink was deputy assistant administrator in the USAID Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade.  Appointed to this position in September 2007, He provided senior policy advisory and management services in agriculture, economic growth, development credit and education.  He also co-chaired a U.S. Government interagency food security task force and served as the USAID representative to the G-8 food security experts group.

Mr. Hammink managed more than $2 billion in U.S. food aid as director of the Office of Food for Peace, from 2006-2007, testifying before three U.S. congressional committees on reauthorization of the Farm Bill.  From 2003 to 2006, he was USAID mission director in Ethiopia, managing one of the largest USAID programs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mr. Hammink received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota, and has served in eight posts on three continents: India, Sudan, Swaziland, Senegal, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia and West Bank/Gaza.


USAID Deputy Mission Director Jerry Bisson

Term of Appointment: 5/2013 to present

USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director Jerry Bisson
USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director Jerry Bisson

Jerry Bisson is a USAID Senior Foreign Service Officer with over 30 years promoting sustainable economic growth in developing countries. Mr. Bisson serves as the Deputy Mission Director for USAID Afghanistan, USAID’s largest assistance program ever aimed at helping Afghanistan become a stable, self-reliant country. USAID projects build the capacity of Afghan organizations to: provide education, deliver health care, construct and maintain essential infrastructure, hold a credible presidential election in April 2014, and develop a market-based economy. Mr. Bisson recently headed the Economic Growth Office in USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, responsible for overseeing a $2 billion portfolio of economic growth activities in 13 countries across the region. He oversaw regional activities in energy security, climate change mitigation, financial sector reform, and enterprise development. He was responsible for ten Enterprise Funds and seven Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (valued at $1.9 billion) to help develop the private sector. From 2008-2010, he led efforts to strengthen the capability of Afghan organizations to increase the reliable supply electricity, expand access to potable water, build and maintain roads, and design and construct schools and clinics meet international safety and seismic standards.

Since 1982, Mr. Bisson has spearheaded the design and execution of a wide range of innovative development efforts. Programs included: providing the communities of former Muslim rebel soldiers in the Philippines with renewable energy systems, strengthening energy sector regulation in the Philippines, promoting sustainable forest management in Indonesia that pioneered reduced impact logging techniques in tropical forests, creating the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation with a $16.5 million endowment, reducing overfishing in the Philippines, expanding the use cleaner industrial production techniques in Asia, and encouraging large landscape conservation in the Amazon Basin with a focus on indigenous peoples issues.

He has a MS in International Development (SUNY/Syracuse) and a BS in Forestry (University of Vermont). He was a Peace Corps Volunteer (agroforestry) in the Philippines. He speaks Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesian.

Awards: State Department’s Herbert Salazar Award of Excellence in International Economic Performance, USAID’s Molly Kux Environmental Award and numerous Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.


USAID Deputy Mission Director Carolyn (Teddy) Bryan

Term of Appointment: 6/2013 to present

USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director Carolyn (Teddy) Bryan
USAID/Afghanistan Deputy Mission Director Carolyn (Teddy) Bryan

After a decade working as a CPA in a regional public accounting firm, she embarked on a career with USAID in 1994 when she joined the Office of Inspector General in Washington, D.C. as an auditor. In early 1996 she helped open the new Regional Inspector General’s Office in Budapest, Hungary and spent a year and a half working in new Mission in Bosnia. In 1999, she became a Controller in the Regional Financial Management Office in Hungary that supported finance operations for 24 countries.

Following the conclusion of the “NATO Aggression” in 2001, Ms. Bryan volunteered to reopen the Mission in Belgrade, Serbia, and set up a brand-new Controller operation as well as take over the USAID Controller operation in Montenegro. After two years, she became the Supervisory Program Officer for the Mission.
In early 2004, Ms. Bryan volunteered to serve in Baghdad as USAID’s Palace Liaison during the final months of the Coalition Provisional Authority and helped to stand up the new Embassy. Halfway through her tour, she transferred offices and became the Supervisory Program Officer responsible for a $5.2 billion portfolio. Following her tour, she was selected to be the first USAID student at the U.S. Army War College for the 2005-2006 academic year and earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies.

After graduation in 2006, Ms. Bryan spent three years in USAID/Tajikistan as the Country Director where she focused on food security, agriculture and economic growth programs. She then spent 2009-2011 as USAID/Liberia’s Deputy Mission Director during which time she led, defended and gained approval for several new strategies including the Feed the Future strategy.
Returning to Washington, D.C. in 2011, she headed up the Overseas Management Division in USAID’s Management Bureau which is responsible for USAID’s overseas management and administrative functions including real estate, ICASS, consolidation issues stemming from the QDDR, policy as well as serving as the home office for USAID’s EXO corps.

Ms. Bryan obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History and Psychology from the College of William and Mary in 1981 as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from Christopher Newport College and subsequently became a Certified Public Accountant. In 2006 she received her Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.


USAID Deputy Mission Director James Hope

Term of Appointment: 10/2013 to present

USAID Deputy Mission Director James Hope
USAID Deputy Mission Director James Hope

Mr. Hope is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with 20 years experience working on international development programs with USAID. 

Prior to arriving in Kabul, he served as Deputy Mission Director at USAID/Kenya from 2008-2013 helping oversee a $500 million annual program. Kenya is a focus country for Presidential and Agency initiatives including Feed the Future, Global Health (PEPFAR) and Global Climate Change. USAID’s Kenya programs focus on advancing democratic transition, reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, strengthening health services, increasing food security and enhancing quality of early grade reading and teaching. A high visibility youth program encourages young Kenyans to participate in the governance process and develop useful work skills. 

Mr. Hope also chaired the Horn of Africa Joint Planning Cell (JPC) to develop innovative approaches for drought resilience by linking humanitarian and development assistance.                          

From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Hope was the Director of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Office at USAID/Afghanistan. He led a $250 million involving over 50 field-based staff with focuses on improving security, extending Afghan government reach and promoting development. He worked closely with other government agencies, the U.S. military and NATO.    

Mr. Hope served at USAID/Indonesia from 2004-2007 where he led a $157 million Presidential foreign policy initiative to improve basic education in Indonesia. He also worked on tsunami recovery. 

From 2001-2003 Mr. Hope served as Deputy Program Officer at USAID/Indonesia and managed the mission’s strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, public outreach, and donor coordination for an annual $130 million budget.

Prior to joining USAID’s Foreign Service, Mr. Hope worked as a contract Program Officer for USAID/Bosnia from 1995 to 1999 supporting implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and post-war recovery and reconstruction.

From 1994 to 1995 he worked at USAID/Poland supporting a $60 million annual program to support Polish transition to democracy and economic reforms.

Mr. Hope received a Bachelor’s degree in History from American University and a Master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University. He speaks Polish and received a State Department Fascell Fellowship to serve at the U.S. Embassy Warsaw from 1990-1993. His home is Austin, Texas.


Last updated: April 14, 2014

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