Diana Putman

Diana Putman
Mission Director

Diana Putman was sworn in as the USAID mission director for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July 2011. With major threats to the future development of a stable and democratic DRC, Putman oversees a $306 million program that focuses on bolstering peace and stability; protecting civilians; strengthening governance institutions; and supporting economic recovery, growth and basic social services, including health and education.

A career Foreign Service Officer, Putnam has lived in Africa for over 20 years, with extensive experience in international development in the region. She has served in Tunisia, Tanzania and at the regional mission in Kenya, where, as director of the Office of Food Security, she designed and managed regional programs in 23 countries with a focus on agriculture, trade and food security. Since August 2008, Putman has served as the humanitarian assistance branch chief at the U.S. Africa Command.

In Washington, D.C., she worked with the Bureau for Asia and the Near East on the Newly Independent States Task Force, and as chair of the Democracy Working Group for the West Bank/Gaza Task Force. Her overseas assignments have included work in Indonesia and Jordan. In addition, she has done graduate work and consulting in Mali, Rwanda and Somalia, where she undertook her doctoral research on agro-pastoralists in the Bay Region in the 1980s. In the 1990s, she conducted post-doctoral research on women and gender differences with Fulbright and National Science Foundation support.

In June 2010, Putman was awarded the American Foreign Service Association's William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent. She also has received multiple Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from USAID, the Secretary of State's Group Award from the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists for her heroism after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, and the Praxis Award from the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists.

Putman earned three degrees in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a master's in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. She also attended the Université de Grenoble in France.

Last updated: March 01, 2013

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