John Seong Sworn in as Mission Director to Timor-Leste

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320 | Email:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – John Seong was sworn in today as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to Timor-Leste. USAID Associate Administrator Dr. Mark Feierstein administered the oath.

Seong assumes leadership at a time when Timor-Leste is working to build its new democracy with still-nascent institutions and limited human capital. Gaining independence in 2002 after decades of conflict, Timor-Leste is one of the world’s newest countries — with a population among the world’s poorest. USAID supports Timor-Leste’s Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030, which outlines efforts to build a more prosperous, healthy and democratic country through programs that foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, especially in the agriculture sector; improve the health of the Timorese people, particularly women and children; and strengthen the foundations of good governance.

A career Foreign Service Officer, Seong has been with USAID for 22 years, serving in Africa, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, and most recently, Afghanistan.

From 2012 to 2013, Seong was USAID’s Senior Development Officer at the International Security Assistance Force’s (ISAF) Regional Command North in Afghanistan, where he oversaw a $150 million program addressing the critical challenges of economic growth, agriculture, democracy and governance, health, education and gender in nine northern provinces. He also led the U.S. Government’s support to ISAF counter-insurgency and stability operations in northern Afghanistan.

Before arriving in Afghanistan, Seong served as the Chief of Policy, Planning and Information Management in the Office of Human Resources, supporting the Agency’s talent management effort, including the expansion of Foreign and Civil Service workforce. Seong also served as the Deputy Mission Director in Armenia, providing senior leadership in managing the mission and a wide range of USAID programs.

Seong received bachelor’s degrees from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Siena College and master’s degrees from the State University of New York and the National Defense University.


Last updated: June 13, 2017

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