Jeff Bakken

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Photo of USAID/Somalia Mission Director Jeff Bakken
Mission Director

Jeff Bakken serves as the Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission for Somalia.  Mr. Bakken previously served as the Mission Director of USAID/South Sudan from May 2016 - July 2018, where he oversaw  extensive humanitarian and development programs that provided lifesaving assistance as well as critical services in health, education, conflict mitigation, democracy and governance, and economic growth.  In 2018, Mr. Bakken served as Charge d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy for South Sudan.

A career member of USAID’s Senior Foreign Service at the Minister Counselor level, Mr. Bakken has worked in overseas development assistance for more than three decades after joining USAID in 1993.  He served in USAID’s Global Development Lab as agency engagement director in 2015-2016. He was deputy mission director in Pakistan and led USAID’s Punjab provincial office in Consulate General Lahore in 2012-2014.  He frequently served as acting consul general in Punjab, a province of more than 100 million people. From 2011 to 2012, he served as director of the Office of Pakistan Affairs in Washington.

Other posts include leading the interagency Humanitarian Intelligence Unit at the Department of State and leading U.S. Government efforts to help Haiti recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake as head of the Office of the U.S. Response Coordinator.

From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Bakken served as director of the Office of South American Affairs in USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.   During that time, he served in Iraq as a senior development advisor on an embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division north of Baghdad. He also served overseas in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and South Africa in supervisory program, project development and democracy/governance/human rights officer positions.

Before joining USAID, he served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer, trainer, deputy director and acting Mission Director in Ecuador.

Mr. Bakken earned a Bachelor of Science in Spanish and Latin American Studies from St. John’s University in Minnesota and a Master of Science in Aquaculture Development from Auburn University in Alabama.


Last updated: October 05, 2020

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