For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - This morning, the new Afghanistan mission director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Earl W. Gast, was sworn in. Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah presided over the event and administered the oath.
"The Government of Afghanistan and USAID are partnering on critical development issues. It requires that we send only our best and brightest, and Earl truly represents both," said Administrator Shah.
As Mission Director for Afghanistan, Gast will oversee a program of approximately $4 billion in 2010. USAID/Afghanistan assistance focuses on stability programs that promote agriculture, local economic development and education as well as long term projects aimed at increasing human and technical capacity in the Afghan government, fostering women's role in society and improving the administration of justice.
Gast began his career at USAID in 1990 as a project development officer in the Philippines. In 1995 he was named an advisor to the U.S. Embassy in Russia and in 1996 was assigned to the USAID /Ukraine Regional Mission. He later became a supervisory program officer for the USAID/Caucasus Regional Mission and in 2002 was appointed deputy director to the Mission in Kosovo. He continued to work on conflict development as deputy mission director in Iraq, one of the first USAID employees stationed there. In April 2008 he was appointed senior deputy assistant administrator for Africa.
His work has been recognized at USAID with his receipt of the Agency's Award for Heroism in 2004 and the Distinguished Unit Award for his work in Iraq in 2003. He also received in 1991 the C. Herbert Rees Award, given for potential for continued growth.
Gast earned a Bachelor's degree in history and criminal law in 1984 from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree in political science and Middle East studies in 1987 from George Washington University.
Last updated: December 15, 2014