For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Kevin Kelly has been sworn in as the Mission Director for USAID's Mission in Guatemala. He brings more than 30 years of development experience, having worked on projects in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Former Soviet Union.
In addition to over 25 years of experience as a USAID employee, Kelly has also worked with Chemonics, a USAID implementing partner, where he supervised a large development project in Peru and worked on initiatives involving legal and regulatory reform, judicial partnerships, privatization, and other issues.
During his tenure with USAID, Kelly was senior project advisor to the Office of Democracy and Governance in USAID's Europe and Eurasia Bureau. His work in Latin America included leadership positions in Costa Rica where he worked in agriculture and natural resources management; Bolivia, where he focused on education and regional development; and Panama, where the $450 million assistance program he developed has been credited with contributing to Panama's economic recovery following years of stagnation and economic decline.
In the mid-1980s, Kelly served in Guatemala as the Chief of the Office of Program and Project Development in the LAC Regional Office for Central American Programs, where he managed teams and supervised the implementation of several projects in the agriculture, natural resource, and energy sectors.
In remarks at his August 23 swearing-in, Kelly and Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Janet Ballantyne both noted that USAID programs in Guatemala have wide-ranging impact in areas as diverse as food security, education, maternal/child health, democracy, agriculture, and economic development.
Kelly, the son of Peace Corps volunteers, emphasized the strategic importance of Guatemala and the region to U.S. interests. "Latin America, being in our hemisphere, is significant. Therefore, it's important that we have good programs," he said. In recognizing the numerous challenges Guatemala faces along with the enormous opportunity to affect positive change, he added, "That's what will make it interesting."
Kelly holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
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Last updated: September 24, 2014