Michelle Bekkering

Michelle Bekkering
Assistant Administrator

Michelle Bekkering was sworn in as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3) on January 6, 2020. Ms. Bekkering leads the bureau in developing innovative and sustainable solutions across twelve technical sectors to accelerate USAID’s impact in reaching its development outcomes. When E3 transitions to the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI) as part of USAID’s Transformation, Ms. Bekkering will continue her leadership role and serve as DDI’s Assistant Administrator.

Ms. Bekkering joined USAID in July 2017, and concurrently served as the E3 Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator and as the Agency’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. During Ms. Bekkering’s tenure as Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator of E3, she led the bureau’s efforts to reorient its strategies, partnerships, and programs to achieve the Administrator’s vision of the Journey to Self-Reliance. This included the U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education which was released in September 2018, and USAID’s new Private Sector Engagement policy which was launched in December 2018.

As the Agency’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Ms. Bekkering supported the White House in the development of the first whole-of government effort to focus on global women’s economic empowerment, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). She also represented the U.S. Government in high-level bilateral and multilateral policy fora, including the 2017 G7 Development Ministerial, the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, official delegate to the 2017 and 2018 UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, and head of the USG delegation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)’s Women and the Economy Forum (September 2018).

Prior to joining USAID, Bekkering served at the International Republican Institute (IRI) from 2005-2017 where she provided leadership to Institute initiatives in Washington, D.C. and as residential country director for the Institute based in Indonesia. During her tenure at IRI, Bekkering led global democracy, rights and governance initiatives with specific focus on parliamentary strengthening, political party strengthening, people-to-people exchanges, and the political inclusion of women and youth. Bekkering also represented the Institute as a trainer, speaker and accredited election observer on five continents.

Bekkering has also served in numerous positions in the U.S. Government. She worked in the European and Eurasian Affairs Directorate of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush. She also worked on Capitol Hill as an aide to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46).

A native of Iowa, Bekkering graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, where she was honored in 2015 with the Distinguished Alumni Award. As part of her education, she also studied at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Last updated: January 24, 2020

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