USAID Mission Director William Hammink’s troubles began shortly before his 2009 arrival in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital; President Omar al-Bashir had just expelled 13 international organizations providing humanitarian assistance in Darfur. While negotiating to permit the return of these organizations, Hammink’s team also had to help a new, inexperienced government in southern Sudan build infrastructure, deliver basic services, and manage the return of tens of thousands of refugees from decades of civil war. The soon-to-be independent country had “not one tarmac road outside of the capital,” Hammink recalled in his ADST oral history.
During his time as mission director, Hammink ran large development programs in both Sudan (Khartoum) and southern Sudan (Juba). He also led USAID’s efforts to support the 2011 referendum that marked the birth of South Sudan–the world’s youngest country. Conflict between Sudan and southern Sudan stopped in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
William Hammink previously served as a USAID program officer in Swaziland, Senegal, and Madagascar; as deputy director in the West Bank/Gaza strip region; and as mission director in Ethiopia. After Sudan he would direct USAID missions in India and Afghanistan.