For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Wayne R. Nilsestuen has been sworn in as the Director for U.S. Agency for International Development's Mission in Bolivia. He brings over 30 years of development experience, having worked in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In addition to his service to USAID, Mr. Nilsestuen was a Peace Corps volunteer for two years in Sierra Leone, West Africa where he started a vocational agricultural program at a secondary school for boys.
Mr. Nilsestuen's most recent post was as the Mission Director in Guatemala from July of 2006 to August of 2010. Prior to Guatemala, he served as USAID Mission Director in Paraguay and Deputy Mission Director in Honduras and Bolivia. He spent the first two decades of his career working as an Agricultural Development Officer in Pakistan, El Salvador and Senegal, as well as at USAID headquarters in Washington.
In accepting this position, Mr. Nilsestuen noted that the Agency and the government of Bolivia have worked for many years toward similar objectives. He referred to this legacy as one of the factors that helps to maintain a strong relationship with the country.
"USAID has a long history of working with the government and people of Bolivia on shared development goals. The definition of development goals and the means to achieve them have varied and evolved over the long sweep of six decades of collaboration. Nevertheless, this long history of partnership is a source of strength as we work together to redefine our relationship."
Citing the positive aspects that Bolivia brings to the development process, he says, "Although Bolivia faces many large development challenges, it has many assets upon which to draw in its pursuit of a better and more secure future for its people. The rich traditions of its diverse indigenous population, its abundance of natural resources, and the striking beauty of its landscape are a source of strength, pride and resilience."
Mr. Nilsestuen hails from Wisconsin where he grew up on a dairy and poultry farm. He holds two Masters' degrees from the University of Wisconsin: one in Agricultural Economics and a second in Development Economics/Public Administration.
Last updated: May 17, 2012