Lawrence Sacks

Lawrence Sacks
Mission Director

A seasoned analyst and democracy officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr. Sacks specializes in political processes, consensus-building, community engagement, rule of law and crime prevention, particularly in high conflict environments.

Mr. Sacks arrived to Colombia in August, 2017 to serve as Mission Director for USAID/Colombia. Prior to joining the USAID/Colombia, he served as Mission Director of USAID/El Salvador since March, 2015. Before joining USAID/El Salvador, Mr. Sacks was the Director of the Office of Justice and Citizen Security for USAID/Mexico, where he managed a $125 million portfolio that contributes to the $1.9 billion Merida Initiative, a bilateral security initiative between the United States and Mexico.
Mr. Sacks has 15 years of experience in international development and diplomacy, advising foreign governments and civil society on citizen security, justice reform, violence prevention, human rights, and other democracy issues. From 2006-2010, Mr. Sacks served at USAID/Peru in the role of Deputy Director of the Office of Democratic Initiatives. He led an initiative to develop a social conflict mitigation strategy for Peruvian Prime Minister. For successfully leveraging over $7 million from Peruvian mining companies to support USAID’s democracy and governance projects, Mr. Sacks received USAID’s Global Development Leadership Award.

He served as USAID’s Democracy and Social Sector Reform Director in Romania from 2004-2006, and was responsible for directly advising staff at the Romanian Office of the President and Prime Minister on institutional development and policy issues and managing projects focused on elections, political party strengthening, decentralization, rule of law and combating trafficking in persons.

Mr. Sacks joined USAID as the Latin America Coordinator for Elections/Political Processes. In this position, he designed and monitored elections and political party projects throughout the region; observed elections in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Peru; co-authored the USAID democracy and governance section of Plan Colombia; and backstopped democracy and governance projects in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador and Cuba.

Prior to joining USAID, Mr. Sacks served in the National Labor Committee in New York and San Salvador, where he developed a methodology for calculating the living wage for maquila workers employed by foreign-owned factories operating in free trade zones and published a final report. Mr. Sacks also worked for the United Nations Electoral Assistance Unit. Mr. Sacks has a BS in Arts from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MS in International Affairs from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York.

Last updated: August 10, 2017

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