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2020 Development Conference Speakers
Acting Deputy Administrator, USAID
John Barsa is the acting deputy USAID Administrator. Prior to assuming these duties on April 11, 2020, he was sworn in on June 10, 2019, as the Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean. Barsa brings considerable experience from decades of service in the public and private sectors. Mr. Barsa comes to USAID from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he led the DHS Office of Partnership and Engagement (OPE) as the Acting Assistant Secretary and later as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. In these roles he oversaw DHS’s coordination and collaboration with governors, mayors and other intergovernmental partners, the private sector, the law enforcement community, and other key stakeholders. His leadership was also critical in the successful efforts by OPE’s Blue Campaign in combatting the scourge of human trafficking.
Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation
As CEO, Mr. Cairncross leads the agency and provides strategic direction and vision as MCC fulfills its mission of reducing poverty through economic growth and advancing America’s interests around the globe. Prior to joining MCC, Mr. Cairncross served as a Deputy Assistant to President Trump and Senior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff. Before his work at the White House, Mr. Cairncross served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Republican National Committee for the 2016 election cycle.
Director for the Center for Digital Development, USAID
In this role, he leads technical teams focused on Digital Finance, Development Informatics, Digital Inclusion and advanced data and geospatial analysis, and the role they play in driving an inclusive digital economy. He previously served as Senior Coordinator, Digital Development for Feed the Future, working alongside the Bureau for Food Security, to integrate a suite of digital technologies into the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Initiative.
Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Subcommittee Chairman Ami Bera (D CA-07)
Nikole serves as the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation of the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Subcommittee Chairman Ami Bera (D CA-07). She has almost 20 years of experience in foreign policy, foreign aid and national security. Nikole has worked for development and humanitarian non-governmental organizations on government affairs, strategic planning and policy. During the Obama Administration she served as Senior Advisor to Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom, advising her on all State Department and USAID foreign assistance and domestic engagement resources, strategic planning, and congressional relations, and also served as a Senior Advisor in the budget office at USAID. Prior to her time in the administration she served for 7 years as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SACFO), where she was also a senior foreign policy advisor for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on foreign affairs and national security matters. Before joining the Senate Nikole was the U.S. Coordinator of the Transatlantic Policy Network, a political, economic and security dialogue between parliamentary, business and NGO leaders in the European Union and the U.S. Nikole is a native Vermonter.
Dr. Tracy Carson
Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Foreign Assistance (F), a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary equivalent, at the U.S. Department of State
Dr. Tracy Carson is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. She currently serves as the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of Foreign Assistance (F), a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary equivalent, at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she is responsible for general management oversight of all phases of F’s work, with a specific focus on integration across all of F’s directorates. Prior to this, she served as F’s Managing Director for Regional and Global Programs and coordinated the allocation of more than $35 billion in foreign assistance resources for the Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and advised on strategies, programming, resource decision-making, and F's internal operations. Dr. Carson has worked in F for more than a decade and notably served as F’s Regional Director for Africa. Her federal career has spanned various agencies and offices, including the U.S. Embassy in Windhoek, Namibia; the Broadcasting Board of Governors; and the Department of Health and Human Services. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University, and completed her masters and doctoral studies at Oxford University on a British Marshall Scholarship, where she focused on African History. She is originally from Chicago, and now lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.
Senior Professional Staff, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Joan O’Donnell Condon has served as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since January 2019, where she is responsible for oversight of U.S. foreign assistance agencies and programs. She previously worked for the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the House of Representatives for more than eighteen years, serving four different Chairmen and covering portfolios ranging from foreign assistance and international peacekeeping to Sub-Saharan Africa and the Maghreb. Over her 20-year career on the Hill, she has worked to enact more than two dozen Public Laws, including the Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act, the Global Food Security Act, and the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act. Between November 2011 and January 2013, she served as Associate Director for Congressional Affairs at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Joan holds a BA in Political Science from Western Maryland College and has completed the coursework for a MA in Government and International Security from the Johns Hopkins University.
Treasurer of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue
Kate Eltrich draws on over 20 years of experience in the legislative and executive branches to assist clients on a range of policy and business development matters, with an emphasis on helping clients anticipate legislative and regulatory actions and execute strategies to succeed in a restrained budget environment. Kate’s expertise has guided clients to plan for the current budget caps and sequestration, and to successfully advocate against proposed spending cuts. Recently, Kate has used her experience overseeing the State Department’s educational and cultural exchange programs to lead a coalition in support of valuable public diplomacy programs. Americans for Cultural Exchange was a finalist for the PIEoneer of the Year Award, for innovations in the field of international education.
Deputy Assistant Administrator, USAID
Karl Fickenscher is a Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3). His portfolio includes the Offices of Private Capital and Microenterprise, and Development Credit. He is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. Prior to arriving in E3 in October 2017, Mr. Fickenscher was the Deputy Coordinator for USAID’s Power Africa initiative based in Pretoria, South Africa, where he led the initiative’s energy technical, policy, and transaction teams. Prior assignments with the U.S. Government include Millennium Challenge Corporation Resident Country Director for Tanzania, USAID Mission Director and Deputy Mission Director in Armenia, and USAID Regional Legal Advisor covering several countries in East and Southern Africa.
Chief, Office of Acquisition and Assistance, Professional Development and Training Division, USAID
Stephanie Fugate is currently Chief of the Office of Acquisition and Assistance Professional Development and Training division where developing and supporting USAID's acquisition and assistance (A&A) workforce
worldwide through training and education on all aspects of A&A. Her role also encompasses coordinating the Agency's A&A Lab where she continues to collaborate throughout the Agency to advance its mission through A&A workforce development and testing and scaling of innovations in Acquisition and Assistance.
Minister Counsellor (International Development), Embassy of Australia, Washington D.C.
Mr. Hall is Australia’s World Bank IDA Deputy and Minister-Counsellor (International Development) at the Australian Embassy in Washington. Prior to commencing this role in January 2020 Mr. Hall was Assistant Secretary Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia Branch from 2016 to 2019. Mr. Hall has worked closely on Australia’s engagement with the Pacific – as Minister Counsellor responsible for Australia’s aid program in Papua New Guinea from 2013-2016, with the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands, and as Principal Director Budget at the former AusAID. Mr. Hall holds a BSc / BA and a Masters in Environmental Law from the Australian National University.
Andrew M. Herscowitz
Chief Development Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
Andrew M. Herscowitz is the first Chief Development Officer (CDO) at U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). As CDO, Herscowitz leads the DFC’s efforts to pursue the most highly developmental projects in less developed countries. He reports directly to the Board of Directors, is a member of the Investment Committee, and is responsible for setting DFC's overall development strategy in coordination with the CEO. He oversees interagency coordination on development, creates and implements metrics for evaluating the development performance of DFC's portfolio, manages strategic relationships with private sector entities at the nexus of business and development, and serves as an ex officio member of DFC's Development Advisory Council.
Chris Milligan is the Counselor to the Agency. A member of the Senior Foreign Service, he has a deep wealth of development experience, having led and contributed to high-priority initiatives throughout his USAID career.
Principal, International at BGR Group,
Lester Munson is Principal, International at BGR Group, a leading government relations firm in Washington, D.C., where he consults with foreign governments, corporations and advocacy groups. His work has focused on sovereign clients in the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. Lester leads BGR’s foreign assistance practice, which provides advisory and government relations services to companies, advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations in the international aid policy area. As a former senior USAID official and veteran of multiple congressional committees, Lester provides clients with unique knowledge, skills and abilities to advance their goals. Lester joined BGR Group in November 2015 after a 26-year career on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch. He was most recently Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he led policy, oversight, legislative and communications efforts for a staff of 25 and negotiated committee priorities with the White House, the State Department and Congressional leadership.
Foreign Service Officer with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), currently serving as Senior Policy Advisor in the Center for Digital Development
Michelle Parker is a career Foreign Service Officer with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), currently serving as Senior Policy Advisor in the Center for Digital Development, managing the implementation of USAID’s first ever Digital Strategy. Ms. Parker’s technical expertise is in Crisis and Stabilization, where she specializes in advancing democracy, human rights, and governance in conflict and closing political space environments. She also has extensive experience in donor coordination, having served as the Senior Development Advisor to the Commanding General of NATO/ISAF in Afghanistan, and as the Senior Development Counselor in US Embassy Tokyo. Her USAID career includes tours in Nicaragua, Japan, El Salvador, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nepal. She worked with various organizations in China, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine prior to joining the Foreign Service. Ms. Parker is a Council on Foreign Relations Term member and former International Affairs Fellow based in the RAND Corporation, where she authored multiple products on the role of International Development in security challenged environments and civil military coordination. She has an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and a BA in Political Science from Georgia State University. She is married, and has a 5-year old son.
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL), USAID
Shauket oversees PPL’s Learning, Evaluation and Research (LER) Office, the Strategic and Program Planning (SPP) Office, and the Program Office. Prior to joining PPL, Ms. Shauket represented USAID as the Senior Development Advisor at the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany. In that role, she provided expertise on development, stabilization, and humanitarian assistance and helped shape DOD’s campaign plan for Africa. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service with a personal rank of Career Minister. She holds the distinction of being the first woman designated Chief Acquisition Officer and Senior Procurement Office in the history of USAID, where she led the Agency through a period of unprecedented growth in procurement obligations.
Mark A. Walther
Senior Procurement Executive, Chief Acquisition Officer, and Director for the Management Bureau’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance (M/OAA), USAID
Mark A. Walther serves as the Senior Procurement Executive, Chief Acquisition Officer, and Director for the Management Bureau’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance (M/OAA). He leads several hundred contracting and agreement professionals around the world to advance acquisition and assistance (A&A) reforms and initiatives critical to the implementation of the Agency's foreign assistance development goals and impacts.