Kent Larson became country director for USAID's mission in Moldova in July 2011. He previously managed the Agency's program in Eurasia (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan).
From 2006 to 2009, Larson served in Iraq, where he managed the USAID contribution to the interagency Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) program, supervising 44 professional staff on 28 teams throughout the country. Prior to assuming this responsibility, he was the USAID representative on the Baghdad PRT, where he served as senior development adviser and manager for USAID projects throughout Baghdad province. He returned to Washington, D.C., in 2009.
A USAID Foreign Service Officer, Larson has spent his 30-plus year career in a mix of development and military service. His development career began in 1993 when he led food distribution projects in Moscow and St. Petersburg before moving to Armenia to manage a complex heating fuel distribution project during a time of open hostilities, civil war and general chaos in the South Caucasus. After joining USAID in 1994, he managed humanitarian assistance, microfinance, civil society, community development and health projects in the South Caucasus. In 1999, he was assigned to Tbilisi, Georgia, to direct the Office of Health and Social Development, with responsibility for projects in both Georgia and Azerbaijan ranging from relief to development. Many of the projects focused on the social and economic disruption in the aftermath of the conflicts in Chechnya, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, now retired, Larson was recalled to active duty in 2004 and was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan while working with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization to devise countermeasures to the weapons. Prior to his relief and development work, he served on active duty in the U.S. Army, first as a field artillery officer and then as a Russia/Eurasia foreign area officer.
Larson holds a bachelor's from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master's in Russian history from Arizona State University. His foreign languages include Russian and German.
Last updated: May 07, 2013