In his 31-year career with USAID, Dr. Kevin Rushing has helped both people and animals throughout the world. A trained veterinarian, Dr. Rushing has provided pro bono veterinary services to animals in need in the many countries in which he has served, including Nepal, Iraq, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Cambodia, Bosnia, Russia, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Serving as USAID/Nepal Mission Director from 2009 until mid-June 2011, Dr. Rushing was featured in a July 2011 article entitled “Rushing to the Rescue,” by Yukta Bajracharya, in the Nepali magazine ECS Nepal. The article describes how Dr. Rushing’s passion for development is matched only by his devotion to helping animals in need – not the dogs and cats most of us are accustomed to, but tigers, cheetahs, lions, leopards, serval cats, elephants, chimpanzees, birds, and reptiles among others.
An excerpt from the article describes Dr. Rushing’s assistance to a tiger cub in Nepal:
[O] one of the very first trips that Dr. Rushing made was to bring a tiger cub, Narayani, to the Central Zoo at Jawalakhel. Narayani had been rescued by villagers in Chitwan but she had been kept in a very small enclosure, restricting the tigress’ motion and proper care. Dr. Rushing jokes, “Narayani can still recognize me. When I visited the zoo recently, I went to meet Narayani. She let out a threatening growl – a warning to not come near her. She remembers that I had given her anesthesia.”
Dr. Rushing believes that his passion for animals enhances and improves his work as a development professional. For example, while serving in Iraq, he helped provide veterinary exams to cows that were given to Iraqi widows, which enabled the women to earn an income and provide for their children. In Nepal, Dr. Rushing helped to focus attention on the plight of the tiger – his favorite animal – and the Mission now provides funding to combat illegal poaching and to count the number of tigers in the country without endangering them.