Thomas Staal was sworn in as USAID’s mission director for Iraq in September 2012. He holds primary responsibility for overseeing programs that work with Iraqis to strengthen their democratic institutions and governance, promote civil society and private sector growth, and improve the quality of primary health care services.
Mr. Staal, who spent part of his boyhood in Iraq, has spent most of his career working overseas in international development and for USAID since 1988, beginning in Sudan as an Emergency Program Officer. In the early 1990s he worked in the USAID regional office in Kenya, managing food aid and doing project development throughout eastern and southern Africa. From 1996 to 2002 he worked in the USAID West Bank and Gaza program, providing assistance to the Palestinians, focusing on water supply projects. He also served a year as the Deputy Director of the Food For Peace Office in Washington. He was most recently director of the Iraq Reconstruction Office in Washington, D.C., and mission director in Lebanon and Ethiopia. Mr. Staal has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Politics (Middle East focus) from Columbia University and an M.Sc. in National Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University.
Last updated: May 22, 2013