Position Title
Mission Director

John A. Pennell, a Career Member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, rank of Minister Counselor, is the Mission Director for USAID/Caucasus, based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Prior to assuming this position, he served as the Mission Director for USAID/Libya from 2019 to 2022. He served as USAID’s Deputy Mission Director for Ukraine and Belarus in 2015-19, helping to oversee the Agency’s largest Mission in the region and its efforts to counter malign influence. He also worked in Ukraine from 2000-01. Mr. Pennell has also served as the Deputy Mission Director for USAID/East Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he led efforts to ramp up USAID’s Somalia program. He has also served in other management and technical positions with USAID including in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Indonesia, Iraq, and Uzbekistan.

Prior to joining USAID, Mr. Pennell worked for the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and The Carter Center. Mr. Pennell is currently a PhD candidate in War and Defense Studies at King’s College-London. He holds a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, a Master’s degree in Political Science from American University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Politics from The Catholic University of America. He speaks Russian and Spanish.

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