7 Facts You Might Not Know About USAID’s New Administrator

Ambassador Mark Green
Ambassador Mark Green

On August 3, Ambassador Mark Green was confirmed as USAID’s Administrator. Read on to learn more about him.

1. He grew up in the Midwest.

Ambassador Mark Green was born in Boston, but he attended high school and college in Wisconsin. He majored in English and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-America team in swimming. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

2. He volunteered in Kenya.

Along with his wife, Sue, Ambassador Green volunteered as a high school teacher in Kakamaga, Kenya, through WorldTeach. The organization was founded at Harvard, and recruits American college graduates to volunteer overseas. During his time in Kenya, Ambassador Green contracted malaria and typhoid.

3. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania 

In 2007, Ambassador Green was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania by then-President George W. Bush. He led more than 350 U.S. and Tanzanian nationals representing 11 distinct U.S. Government entities, and was a prominent voice for U.S. interests, as well as democratization, anti-corruption and HIV/AIDS. He still speaks kidogo ku (“just a little”) Kiswahili.

4. He has a diverse family backgroud. 

Ambassador Green’s father is South African and his mother is British. Both of his parents have been proud Americans for more than 20 years. He also has close relatives in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

5. He served in Congress. 

In 1999, Ambassador Green was elected to represent Wisconsin’s 8th District in Congress, where he served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He helped craft legislation that launched the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent U.S. Governnt foreign-aid agency, as well as the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), an interagency initiative that has transformed the global HIV/AIDS response across more than 60 countries. He was later nominated to serve on the MCC Board of Directors by then-President Barack Obama.

6. He’s respected by the international development community.

Most recently, Ambassador Green was president of the International Republican Institute. IRI is a non-profit that advances freedom and democracy worldwide. Previously, he served as president and chief executive officer of the Initiative for Global Development, senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and managing director of Malaria No More.

7. He has strong bipartisan support.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ambassador Green earned praise from Congressional leaders — both Republicans and Democrats. Here are some quotes from the hearing:

“Mark’s exemplary character and unique qualifications make him an inspired choice to lead USAID in the future.” — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

“He has the deep personal passion and commitment to do this job, as shown through years of work in advancing our common good on the international stage.” — Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

“He has an uncanny ability to bring people together of differing views [and] of differing backgrounds and get them to work on the same page. He is a person who knows what it takes to improve and transform the lives of others.” — Speaker Paul Ryan

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