CAMBRIDGE, MA, May 20 – The U.S. Senate has confirmed Marcela Escobari, Executive Director of Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID), as Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Escobari, nominated by President Obama in December, will lead the bureau and its initiatives on poverty, inequality, citizen security, corruption and climate change. Throughout the region, USAID has 13 bilateral missions, 3 regional missions, and U.S.-based programs focusing on democracy, humanitarian assistance, and the environment. The bureau manages an annual budget of approximately $900 million.
"I am humbled to serve USAID in its mission of supporting peace, security and prosperity in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Escobari. "International development has been my passion and my vocation, and I look forward to what we can accomplish in the coming months, at a crucial time for the region."
Since 2007, Escobari has served as Executive Director at CID, a research center working to generate breakthrough ideas that bring stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity to developing countries. During her tenure, the Center achieved tremendous impact, tripling in size with projects in 17 countries across 5 continents.
"Our mission is to train public leaders who can turn ideas into solutions," said Douglas Elmendorf, Dean and Don K. Price Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, "Marcela Escobari is a great example of that kind of service, and the public will benefit from her training and commitment to advance the important work of USAID."
Prior to joining CID, Escobari led the Americas region and served on the Executive Committee of the OTF Group, a strategy consulting firm that advised private and public sector leaders on how to improve export competitiveness. In 2013, the World Economic Forum named Escobari a Young Global Leader. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
As the lead development agency for the U.S. Government, USAID partners to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity. USAID works in over 100 countries to promote economic prosperity, strengthen democracy and good governance, protect human rights, improve global health, advance food security and agriculture, improve environmental sustainability, further education, help societies prevent and recover from conflicts, and provide humanitarian assistance in the wake of natural and man-made disasters.
The Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University is a university-wide center that works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to problems of global poverty. CID is Harvard’s leading research hub focusing on resolving the dilemmas of public policy associated with generating stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity in developing countries. CID’s ongoing mission is to apply knowledge to and revolutionize the world of development practice.