Flag of Madagascar

Letter from the Mission Director, and short biography

Language: English


Susan Sawhill Riley, Mission Director
Susan Sawhill Riley, USAID/Madagascar Mission Director

Letter from the Mission Director

Welcome to USAID/Madagascar’s website.  For the past 29 years, USAID has been working with the people of Madagascar to protect the country’s unique biodiversity, support anti-corruption reforms, increase access to basic education, improve women and children’s health, reduce food insecurity and strengthen the country’s ability to respond to natural disasters.

We are proud of our role in expanding family planning services and in making Madagascar a leader in modern contraceptive use among African Nations. Our work in the environment sector helped double the areas of Madagascar devoted to national parks and protected areas. Our assistance to combat malaria is reducing malaria infections and deaths and giving Madagascar a realistic chance to eliminate the threat of this disease.

Following the overthrow of a democratically elected government in 2009, USAID suspended most of its assistance in environment, education and governance. And yet, in spite of these restrictions, our commitment to the Malagasy people remains strong. We continue to provide support for life-saving humanitarian assistance in the health and food aid sectors, and to fight natural disasters such as cyclones and locusts and recently have recommenced assistance in the environment.  The United States remains the largest bilateral donor in Madagascar.

Madagascar is a beautiful country, and its citizens strive daily to create a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Drawing inspiration from their resilience, we remain optimistic that with the upcoming elections, we will see an end to the political crisis and a bright future on the horizon for Madagascar. We are confident that USAID’s work with the Malagasy people, donors, local authorities, the private sector, and civil society has helped to create the conditions necessary to achieve a safer, democratic, more prosperous Madagascar.

I welcome your interest in our programs and encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments.

Thank you,
Susan Sawhill Riley
USAID/Madagascar Mission Director


Short bio

Ms. Susan Sawhill Riley served as the Chief of Foreign Service Personnel in Washington D.C. managing Foreign Service appointments, senior management group assignments, Ambassadorial nominations and numerous other personnel requests. During her tenure, Ms. Riley brought on 950 new Foreign Service Officers to USAID. 

Ms. Riley joined USAID as a mid-level Foreign Service officer in 1989 and has served the Agency in a number of roles.  Ms. Riley worked as project development officer in the Philippines and Egypt. Her experiences include: serving on the Eastern European Task Force, as a desk officer in the Middle East Bureau, as a Private Enterprise Officer in Jordan, Deputy Office Director of the Privatization and Economic Growth Office at USAID’s Morocco mission, Director of the Office of Finance and Information Technology in Egypt, and the Director of the Economic Growth Office in Haiti.

Prior to joining USAID, Ms. Riley was an International Credit Officer in the Philippines and Hong Kong with the Bank of America. 

Ms. Riley holds an MBA in Finance from California State University. A native of California, Ms. Riley also received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology from the University of California at Davis. She is fluent in French. 

Last updated: September 23, 2016

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