For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. – Beth Dunford was sworn in today as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director to Nepal. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah administered the oath.
Dunford assumes leadership as Nepal continues its democratic transition after a decade-long insurgency that ended in 2006. USAID programs in Nepal seek to reinforce recent gains in peace and security, stabilize the transitional government, strengthen the delivery of essential social services, expand proven health interventions, and address the global challenges of food insecurity and climate change.
“Beth will bring a leadership capacity to build one team, and the power of science, technology and innovation to the work that we pursue in Nepal,” said Dr. Shah.
Dunford brings a wealth of relevant experience to the assignment. A Foreign Service Officer, she has been with USAID for more than 10 years, serving both in Washington, D.C. and in two overseas posts. Before arriving in Kathmandu, she served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security. In this position, she was responsible for Feed the Future country programs and for overseeing the bureau’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving food security and reducing persistent rural poverty.
From 2009 to 2010, Dunford served as the Senior Development Advisor to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the Secretary of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this capacity, she provided strategic direction and implementation guidance to reorient development programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan in support of the president’s counterinsurgency objectives. Prior to this assignment, Dunford was the team leader for Afghanistan on the U.S. Central Command Assessment established by now retired Army Gen. David Petraeus. She also served on the ground in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007 as the USAID/Afghanistan Alternative Livelihoods Program Director.
Other past positions held by Dunford include Regional Development Advisor for USAID’s Office of East African Affairs (2007-2008), where she oversaw the Africa Bureau’s regional expertise in the Great Lakes region, and Chief of the Assets and Livelihoods Transition Office for USAID/Ethiopia (2002-2005), where she managed food assistance, emergency preparedness and resilience programming and was the mission focal point for emergency assistance.
A New York City native, Dunford earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and her doctorate in sociology from Michigan State University.
Last updated: March 11, 2014