For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator, Alonzo Fulgham administered today the oath of office to William Frej as the new mission director for Afghanistan. Frej is a Minister Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service and has worked for USAID for the past twenty years in both overseas and Washington, D.C. assignments.
"This is not an easy job, and certainly not one that anybody can do. It is a job that requires USAID's brightest and most capable staff. I have worked with Bill for many years and know from personal experience that USAID is sending one of its most talented leaders to Afghanistan," said Fulgham prior to administering the oath.
Frej will manage USAID programs in Afghanistan estimated at $2 billion in FY 2009, supporting the President's new counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He will oversee activities which focus on increasing the effectiveness of the delivery services to the Afghan people by the Afghan government and reducing the numbers of potential insurgents through economic growth and job creation. Frej will also oversee continued efforts in the social sector, including health and education programs that provide tangible evidence of government service delivery.
In 2002 and 2003, Frej was a staff member of President Bush's foreign policy team, serving as Director for Development Issues at the National Security Council in the White House. Prior to this appointment, he held the position of Director of the Office of Market Transition in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In his last two overseas posts, Frej was USAID Mission Director in the Central Asian Republics and USAID Mission Director in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he led the United States Government's relief and reconstruction program following the historic tsunami and earthquake in Aceh. He was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Honor Award in 2006.
While based in Warsaw, he served as Director for the Regional Urban Development Office for Central and Eastern Europe, managing municipal development programs in Albania, the Baltic countries, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Prior to his European assignments, he served for seven and one half years in the USAID Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia, as municipal finance advisor, Director of the Housing and Urban Development Office for East Asia and as Director for the Office for Private Sector Development.
Frej studied architecture at the University of Notre Dame, earned a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Arizona, and a Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining USAID, he served as an administrator with the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and as a social policy planner with Berkeley's National Housing and Economic Development Law Project.
He was raised in Maquoketa, Iowa and he and his wife, Anne, now consider Santa Fe, New Mexico as their home town.
Last updated: December 15, 2014