Jim Wright was sworn in as Liberia Mission Director on July 26, 2021. He leads a team of 104 people promoting private sector-led economic growth through three key objectives: (1) market-driven inclusive economic growth supporting increased job creation, (2) effective and inclusive governance catalyzed through reforms and greater accountability, and (3) foundations for growth strengthened through a healthy, productive, and educated population.
Mr. Wright has been a Foreign Service Officer for 20 years and has over 30 years of experience managing international development and relief programs. He was most recently the Mission Director for USAID/Timor-Leste, where he led the Mission in establishing a new five-year partnership with the host country government to strengthen good governance, expanding inclusive economic growth and private-sector competitiveness, and improving the health services of the country, while also addressing the impact of the global COVID pandemic and catastrophic flooding.
Prior to that, Mr. Wright served as Director of the USAID Middle East Bureau’s Office of Technical Support, where he oversaw a team of sectoral specialists providing advice and support to field operating units, in the areas of democracy and governance, countering violent extremism, youth empowerment, private-sector led economic growth, education, health, water and sanitation. He ensured that limited and non-presence countries such as Iraq, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen obtained high quality customer service for timely and effective program design and implementation.
Previous overseas assignments with USAID were as Deputy Mission Director in the Dominican Republic, Senior Development Officer for Western Afghanistan, Deputy Director of USAID’s Office of Middle East Programs in Cairo, as well as program office positions in Mali, Nigeria, and Ghana. He also worked as a personal services contractor in the Office of Food for Peace, Emergency Response Division, covering West Africa and Latin America. He served on Disaster Assistance Response Teams for Mozambique and Kosovo.
Mr. Wright began his international development career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon, subsequently working overseas for Save the Children and the University of Florida. He majored in development studies and economics at Brown University and has a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.