USAID/Iraq Mission Director
THOMAS H. STAAL
Thomas Staal has spent most of his career working overseas in international development. He has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 1988, beginning in Sudan as an Emergency Program Officer. In the early 1990s he worked in the USAID regional office in Kenya, managing food aid and doing project development throughout eastern and southern Africa. From 1996 to 2002 he worked in the USAID West Bank and Gaza program, providing assistance to the Palestinians, focusing on water supply projects, as well as local community development. Between 2003 and 2004, he served as the USAID Regional Representative for Southern Iraq, overseeing all USAID projects in that part of the country. He also served a year as the Deputy Director of the Food For Peace Office in Washington, and most recently he was the Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Office in Washington and USAID Mission Director in Lebanon. Prior to joining USAID/Iraq, Mr. Staal served as the USAID mission director in Ethiopia.
Before joining USAID, Mr. Staal worked for World Vision International as their Representative in Sudan in the mid-1980s. He also worked for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s and the early 80s in the company’s government relations department. Tom Staal has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Politics (Middle East focus) from Columbia University and an M.Sc. in National Strategic Security Studies from the National Defense University. Tom grew up in Iraq and Kuwait, and attended boarding school in India.
Deputy Mission Director
R. DAVID HARDEN
R. David Harden is a counselor in the Senior Foreign Service and currently serves as the Deputy Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Iraq. He manages a $250 million FY 2012 portfolio focused on governance (including capacity development in the health and education sectors), democracy and economic growth.
Prior to this assignment in May 2012, Mr. Harden served for three years as the Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. Based in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, he helped shape and implement United States policy toward Palestinian economic and institutional development.
Mr. Harden also established the first USAID presence in Libya in September 2011. He was part of a small expeditionary, inter-agency team charged to re-open the embassy, re-establish basic operations, respond to the humanitarian needs during and immediately after the war, and assist with the political transition from Qaddafi rule. Mr. Harden was the senior US official on the ground monitoring $95 million in Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and Office of Transition Assistance (OTI) funds.
Before his assignment with the Special Envoy, Mr. Harden served as the Deputy Director to the USAID Mission in the West Bank and Gaza from 2005-2009 -- a period which included Israeli disengagement from Gaza, the second Lebanon-Israel war, and the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza. During this time, he led a multi-year, $1.2 billion portfolio centered on democracy, education, health, infrastructure, and private sector activities in the West Bank and Gaza.
Mr. Harden served as the USAID Regional Legal Advisor in Central Asia from 2003 to 2005 and as the USAID Regional Legal Advisor in South Asia from 1999 to 2003.
Mr. Harden earned his Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. He received a Master of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Franklin and Marshall College. Before entering the Foreign Service, Mr. Harden worked as a corporate lawyer in New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina and earlier as a consultant in Peshawar, Pakistan and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana.
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