USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa On USAID Core Values

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Office of Press Relations

At the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a set of core values informs how we behave towards colleagues, partners, and those we serve. Each is indispensable to our approach. Collectively, they represent USAID’s culture:


  • We aspire to lead international and U.S. Government efforts to advance the economic, political, social, and environmental well-being of the world’s most vulnerable people.
  • We seek to improve our operations and increase our impact continually.
  • We take pride in our work and our accomplishments.


  • We are honest and transparent, accountable for our efforts, and maintain a consistently high moral standard.
  • We are ethical in all that we do.
  • We are fair with colleagues, partners, and those we serve, and build relationships of trust.


  • We demonstrate respect for one another, our partners, and the people we serve in communities around the world.
  • We recognize and acknowledge the strength that comes from diversity.
  • We consistently demonstrate professionalism and respect in our communications and in our behavior.


  • We elevate all voices that are striving for global economic, environmental, and social progress.
  • We seek to ensure that all voices are heard.
  • We strive to strengthen the voices of the marginalized and vulnerable.
  • We value every team member, and seek to ensure all of them can fulfill their potential.


  • We support programs that engage people across societies and benefit whole communities and countries.
  • We value all members of our team, learn from their experience, and foster their active engagement.
  • We advance equality, foster equal opportunity and address inequality within our Agency and in our work.


  • We seek to improve ourselves and our work continually through reflection and evaluation.
  • We design and assess programs with an eye towards constant improvement.
  • We recognize that professional development is fundamental to team satisfaction and success.

Manifesting these values is the responsibility of all our staff, but USAID’s leaders have a unique role. As our Leadership Philosophy makes clear, at USAID we “foster a culture of respect, learning, and accountability.” Being a leader is more than just a title or job function; it is a responsibility to inspire, listen, develop leaders, promote well-being, innovate, act and empower, and promote accountability. Leaders across all levels of USAID have to do their part, including those of us in the Agency’s Front Office.

As the world’s premier development Agency, USAID leads by example, and at the center of our work is the American belief that all people are created equal. We look forward to continuing our work with our staff and the families and communities we support in our partner nations to advance that goal.

John Barsa
Acting Administrator

Last updated: July 07, 2020

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