Marcela Escobari

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Marcela Escobari
Assistant Administrator

Marcela Escobari serves as the Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. For over two decades, the Hon. Marcela Escobari led organizations that help regions chart a path towards prosperity. She served in the Obama-Biden Administration as Assistant Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. During her time there, Escobari reinforced U.S. support for Peace Colombia, established a long-term development plan for Haiti, and prepared a proactive strategy to confront the humanitarian and political crisis in Venezuela. In response to Congress’ doubling of funding to Central America, she led changes in strategy, organization and execution to combat root causes of poverty and migration in the region.

Prior to serving in government, Escobari was Executive Director at the Center for International Development at Harvard University. During her tenure, the Center launched projects in 17 countries across five continents focused on unlocking constraints to economic growth. Most recently, as a senior fellow at Brookings, she created the Workforce of the Future initiative and applied international economic development models to map the industrial path of American cities and identify policies to help workers prosper in the face of evolving labor markets. She worked with US local leaders, companies and policy makers, including in Idaho and Texas, to strengthen paths to the middle class.

Her career has spanned the private sector, government and academia, with a common thread of producing growth that is inclusive and sustainable. She began her career as an investment banker at J.P. Morgan and worked across the globe on export competitiveness projects as a strategy consultant. The World Economic Forum named her a Young Global Leader in 2013. She co-authored the book “In the River They Swim: Essays from around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty,” holds a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Last updated: January 12, 2022

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