For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) held a swearing in ceremony today for Dr. Jim Barnhart as the new Mission Director for Lebanon. Counselor Hilda Arellano presided at the ceremony and administered the oath to Dr. Barnhart.
As Mission Director for Lebanon, Dr. Barnhart will oversee USAID's programs to help the Lebanese strengthen their democratic institutions, promote economic growth, improve education and health services, and support water and environment programs. The USAID/Lebanon budget totals $109 million annually.
Dr. Barnhart praised the Lebanese government's outstanding leadership, noting that, "The rebuilding of the country's physical, economic, and social infrastructure is well-underway. The U.S. Government has stood shoulder to shoulder with Lebanon, and I leave for Lebanon with the intense desire to continue to bolster the strong and productive relationship built by my predecessors."
Dr. Barnhart recently completed an assignment in Pakistan as the Associate Mission Director for Economic Growth and Education and the Acting Economic Growth Office Director. Dr. Barnhart led his teams through an extraordinary year, as the bilateral assistance program underwent concurrent transformations, including a doubling of the foreign assistance budget and the institution of a new model for implementation that is built upon Pakistani ownership of U.S. assistance.
Prior to his assignment in Pakistan, Dr. Barnhart guided the Economic Growth, Education, Humanitarian Assistance, and Anti-Corruption offices in Zambia as the Supervisory General Development Officer. There, he managed the design, implementation, and completion of Zambia's Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program, which directly led to the country becoming compact eligible in 2009.
Before joining USAID in 2000, Dr. Barnhart worked in Egypt and the West Bank and Gaza Strip, supporting programs for education and economic development. He coordinated activities for an American-Armenian nongovernmental organization that operated in Armenia, Turkey, and Jerusalem.
Dr. Barnhart has a PhD in Economics from Georgia State University, and he studied economic development in the Middle East as part of his Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has studied Arabic in Damascus, Syria, and at Bir Zeit University outside of Ramallah.
Last updated: May 17, 2012