By: Paige Alexander, Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia

I am honored to have been nominated by President Obama to lead the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia as their Assistant Administrator.  Following confirmation by the U.S. Senate on December 22nd, I was sworn in on Monday, January 3rd.

Paige Alexander (left) sworn in as Assistant Administrator by Deborah Kennedy-Iraheta, OHR Director (right), as Roberta Mahoney, E&E’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator (center), looks on. Photo credit: USAID/Bethany Egan

Let me briefly introduce myself.  I’m returning to USAID where I previously served for eight years (1993-2001) in a number of positions in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, including as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator.  From 2001-2010, I was Senior Vice President at IREX, an international nonprofit development organization that supports educators, journalists and community leaders in over 100 countries.  I have also been Associate Director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a consultant to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and the Open Society Institute in Prague.  I also served on the boards of the Basic Education Coalition and the Project on Middle East Democracy.  In short, over 20 years working in the international development field, I have had the perspective of being on the ground as a foundation grant maker, working with an academic institution to implement programs, and administering projects through a non-profit organization. Returning to USAID with all these perspectives I feel is invaluable.

I am excited to lead E&E in this time of challenge and change.  In the Europe and Eurasia region, we face resetting our relationship with Russia, dealing with post-conflict problems, and addressing development issues from the Atlantic to the Bering Straits and from the Artic to the Mediterranean, all in a demanding budget environment.  E&E has great people both here in Washington and in the field, and I’m confident that, working together, we will remain development leaders and good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.

I look forward to working with the dedicated staff in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia and across USAID to fulfill the President’s, the Secretary’s, and the Administrator’s shared goal of modernizing and strengthening the Agency, elevating development, achieving our core objectives in E&E, and forging new partnerships with emerging and established donors to confront global development challenges.