Search Results for USAID

Lessons Learned: USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the 1985 Mexico City Earthquake

USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is perhaps the world’s premier international disaster assistance agency.  It was not always that way. OFDA administrator Oliver “Ollie” Davidson knows this better than most. OFDA’s response to the devastating 1985 Mexico City earthquake was ernest and energetic, but not always well-targeted.  In his oral history, Davidson recalls […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Combatting Corruption in Egypt During the Arab Spring: USAID’s Role

The eighteen-day revolution to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 brought a wave of democracy to Egypt—one that was widely supported by the United States and much of the international community. Despite Mubarak’s reluctance to step down and efforts to eliminate Egypt’s internet access during the protests, the mass assembly in Tahrir Square eventually pushed […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
1200 Monkeys Was the Least of It: a Case of Kickbacks and Sexual Harassment at USAID

Ann Van Dusen’s long and successful career USAID brought many challenges, including the case of a contractor implicated in kickbacks, sexual harassment and and the irregular importation of 1200 monkeys to the United States.  Her conclusion from the sorry 1980s episode? “It is important to find ways to make it safe for whistleblowers to speak […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
USAID’s role in helping rebuild Rwanda after the genocide of 1994

Philip-Michael Gary’s career with USAID put him face-to-face with then-Vice President and Minister of Defense of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, in the aftermath of the infamous Rwandan genocide. Following the 1994 genocide, which led to the deaths of up to 800,000 Rwandans of Tutsi ethnicity, Kagame reached out to USAID to assist him in restoring order […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
When a Newly-Elected President Putin Welcomed USAID’s Advice

President Putin once welcomed USAID’s assistance (at least for a time). Carol Peasley served as USAID’s mission director in Moscow from 1999-2003. This tumultuous period witnessed the fall of Boris Yeltsin and the emergence of Vladimir Putin as a tough-minded leader frequently at odds with the United States. But it was not always that way. Peasley […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Cold War, Russia/Soviet Union Tagged , , , |
Human Rights and USAID: Remembering the Turbulent 1990s in Indonesia

Political and economic crises abroad have a dramatic impact not only on American personnel at our embassies, but on locally-employed staff as well.  In 1996 opponents of the regime of President Suharto occupied the headquarters of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party (or PDI). This became a focal point for popular protest, and were dislodged in […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
USAID’s Work with an Unsung Hero of the Fight Against Apartheid in South Africa: Dullah Omar

USAID worked intensively with the new South African government after the fall of apartheid in 1994.  William Stacy Rhodes was at the heart of these efforts, serving as Mission Director from 1998-2002.  He recalls working closely with Dullah Omar, Nelson Mandela’s lawyer in the darkest days of apartheid and the first Minister of Justice in […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Never the Twain Shall Meet? Bureaucratic Cultures at USAID and the State Department

The famously contrasting bureaucratic cultures of the State Department and USAID made a sharp impression on Donald Bliss, USAID’s executive secretary during the Ford Administration.  Bliss recalls needing to submit 14 copies of a fairly simple memorandum from USAID’s Administrator Daniel Parker to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.  Bliss, a Harvard Law grad and Peace […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
USAID: Working With State and DOD on Counter Terrorism – and with Oliver North in Honduras

Elizabeth Kvitashvili’s USAID career took her from Afghanistan to Honduras to Russia. She led efforts to provide humanitarian assistance amidst crisis and vast human suffering. Along the way she encountered Oliver North in Central America and President Clinton at a chocolate factory in Russia. She also helped USAID determine its role in countering the spread of […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Winning the Peace – USAID and the Demobilization of the Nicaraguan Contras

In the 1980s, one of the focal points of U.S. foreign policy was the rise of leftist militants throughout the globe, particularly in Central America. Under the Reagan Doctrine, the U.S. in 1982 began actively supporting anti-Communist insurgents — the Contras — in Nicaragua in their fight against the Sandinistas. By 1985, public support for the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Military, Western Hemisphere Tagged , , , , , |