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Diana Putman was sworn in as the USAID Mission Director for Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in July 2011. With major threats to the future development of a stable and democratic DRC, Dr. Putman oversees a program with over $250 million a year that focuses on bolstering peace and stability; protecting civilians; strengthening governance institutions; and supporting economic recovery, growth and basic social services, including health and education. In addition, the DRC regularly receives over $100 million of OFDA and FFP humanitarian support per year.
In addition to managing the bilateral portfolio of the DRC, Dr. Putman oversees the Central Africa Regional Operating Unit (CAROU) which includes the longstanding, six-country Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), programs that address Countering the Lord’s Resistance Army, and assistance to Central African Republic and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.
A career Senior Foreign Service Officer, Dr. Putman has lived in Africa for over 25 years, with extensive experience in international development in the region. She has served in Tunisia, Tanzania and at the regional mission in Kenya, where, as director of the Office of Food Security, she designed and managed regional programs in 23 countries with a focus on agriculture, trade and food security. From August 2008 to June 2011, Ms. Putman served as the Health and Humanitarian Assistance Branch Chief at the U.S. Africa Command.
In Washington, D.C., she worked with the Bureau for Asia and the Near East on the Newly Independent States Task Force, and as chair of the Democracy Working Group for the West Bank/Gaza Task Force. Her overseas assignments outside Africa have included work in Indonesia and Jordan. In addition, she has done graduate work and consulting in Mali, Rwanda and Somalia, where she undertook her doctoral research on agro-pastoralists in the Baay Region in the 1980s. In the 1990s, she conducted post-doctoral research on women returnees and gender differences with Fulbright and National Science Foundation support.
In June 2010, Dr. Putman was awarded the American Foreign Service Association's William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent. She also has received multiple Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards from USAID, the Secretary of State's Group Award for her heroism after the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, and the Praxis Award from the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists, and the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award.
Dr. Putman earned three degrees in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a master's in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. She also attended the Université de Grenoble in France.
Last updated: June 15, 2016