As the USAID/Southern Africa Mission Director, Leslie Marbury is responsible for all USAID programming in Southern Africa, including bilateral programs in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and eSwatini, as well as programming through the region. The Southern Africa region has some of the highest levels of income inequality and HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. USAID programs increase trade and strengthen regional economic ties, and address the dual epidemics of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, while supporting democratic processes, protecting human rights, and building resilience.
She most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Government’s Prosper Africa initiative. In this role, she coordinated 17 participating U.S. departments and agencies to advance the U.S. Government’s efforts to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries. Previously, Ms. Marbury served as the Mission Director for USAID in Rwanda and Burundi, where she oversaw programs in economic growth, health, democracy, education, and humanitarian assistance, worked with partners to accelerate Rwanda’s transition to a middle-income country, and led the response to COVID-19. Her previous posts include Honduras, Bolivia, South Africa, and Burma.
Throughout her time with the U.S. Government, she has worked with the private sector, civil society, and governments to improve economic governance, private sector investment, trade, the financial sector, environmental policy, agricultural development, and food security. Leslie is a career member of the USAID Senior Foreign Service. She gained her formative experience as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana and received her master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of Georgia.
Share This Page
Richard Burns was most recently a Resident Legal Officer in Addis Ababa covering Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Sudan. Prior to that, he was the RLO for Rwanda and Burundi in Kigali.
Before that, he covered Mozambique and Angola, based in Maputo. Richard joined USAID after working at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), where he served as the Assistant General Counsel for Asia. Prior to joining USTDA, Rick was an international trade associate for Grunfeld Desiderio in Washington, DC.
Rick received his B.A. in English from Lafayette College, and his J.D. and M.A. in international affairs from George Washington University. Rick served as a Peace Corps volunteer in China from 1998-2000 and taught Legal Research and Writing to international LLM students at the George Washington University Law School from 2007 to 2009.
Share This Page
Troy Tillis is a commissioned United States Foreign Service Officer presently serving as the USAID/Southern Africa Deputy Mission Director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pretoria, South Africa. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Mission Director, he served as the USAID/Southern Africa Director for Regional Operations (EXO), overseeing the administrative management, logistics, and operational support for over 460 USAID staff across 20 operating units and six countries.
Mr. Tillis’ previous tours of duty include USAID/Washington, USAID/Peru (which included coverage for Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Venezuela), USAID/Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), USAID/Afghanistan, and USAID/Guatemala. In these assignments, he led bilateral and multilateral operations management platforms across four continents and 18 U.S. Embassies, monitored and evaluated foreign assistance programs in excess of $3 billion, and provided technical support in the areas of disaster response, humanitarian assistance, civilian-military (civ-mil) cooperation, and rural development. He was most recently detailed to the Department of Defense as a George C. Marshall Scholar in the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) – Advanced Strategic Leadership Studies Program (ASLSP) based in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His academic interests focused on the nexus between development, diplomacy, and defense; the hedging (balancing and bandwagoning) behaviors of Southeast Asian nations vis-a-vis Sino-American competition; 21st century conflict; and strategic leadership.
Mr. Tillis holds a M.A. in Strategic Studies (National Security) from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), a M.S. in International Trade and Development from Oklahoma State University, and a B.S. in Management (Organizational Behavior) from Northern Illinois University. He was a Master's International Program (MIP) participant at Oklahoma State University, serving his Peace Corps assignment in North Macedonia from 2006-2008.