R. David Harden became the USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission Director in July 2013. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Mission Director for the USAID Mission in Iraq where he managed a multi-year $1.3 billion portfolio focused on governance (including capacity development in the health and education sectors), democracy and economic growth.
Mr. Harden is an experienced Middle East veteran, most recently having served for three years as the Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. Based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he helped shape and implement United States policy toward Palestinian economic and institutional development as well as Israeli security related to Palestinian trade. From 2005-2009, Mr. Harden was the USAID West Bank and Gaza Deputy Mission Director. During this time, Mr. Harden led a multi-year, $1.2 billion portfolio centered on democracy, education, health, infrastructure, and private sector activities in the West Bank and Gaza.
In September 2011, Mr. Harden also established the first USAID presence in Libya. He was part of a small expeditionary, inter-agency team charged to re-open the embassy, re-establish basic operations, respond to the humanitarian needs during and immediately after the war, and assist with the political transition from Qaddafi rule. He was the senior US official on the ground monitoring $95 million in U.S. assistance.
Mr. Harden served as the USAID Regional Legal Advisor in Central Asia from 2003-2005 and in South Asia from 1999-2003.
He has studied Arabic, Russian and Bangla. Mr. Harden earned his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University. He received a Master of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Franklin and Marshall College. Before entering the Foreign Service, Mr. Harden worked as a corporate lawyer New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina and earlier served as a consultant in Peshawar, Pakistan and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana.
Mr. Harden is married to Sharon Albright Harden, a lawyer and consultant and they have three teenage children: Tyler, Ryan and Waverly. He is a native of Westminster, Maryland.
Last updated: August 02, 2013