Death of Foreign Service Officer Madeline Williams

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Statement by Acting Administrator Gloria Steele

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 9, 2021
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

On behalf of the worldwide USAID team, it is with great sadness that I express my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Madeline Williams, an accomplished Foreign Service Officer who passed away unexpectedly on April 3, 2021 in South Africa.

In her 28 years with USAID, Madeline was known as a dedicated leader and mentor, as well as a passionate advocate for democracy and diversity. Throughout her career, she advocated for marginalized and underserved communities, as exemplified in her most recent role as the Program Office Director for Power Africa in Pretoria, South Africa, where she worked to bring electricity to millions of people.

Madeline joined the USAID family in 1993 as a Presidential Management intern and over the course of her storied career worked in three regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. In Washington, she served as the Deputy Director of USAID’s Center for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, and in the U.S. Global Development Lab, she spearheaded innovation and partnership development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Originally from Minnesota, she is survived by her spouse, Jorge Delgado, and three children—Jordan, Jesse, and Jadyn—as well as other family members. She is remembered as a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, dear friend to many - as well as a committed colleague. Madeline’s passion for country, service, and for improving the lives of those in need touched many communities around the world and here at home.

Last updated: April 27, 2021

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