Established in 1961, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the American government’s donor agency which promotes global economic growth, agriculture and trade, health, democracy, conflict prevention, and humanitarian assistance. Henrietta Fore was sworn in as the agency’s 15th Administrator, and its first female, on 13 December 2007, by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
As administrator of one of the world’s leading donor agencies, Fore is bound to have a full plate’s worth of daily responsibilities. Primary to these tasks is overseeing US foreign assistance, including support to countries recovering from disaster, promoting democratic reforms, and sustaining efforts at worldwide poverty reduction. Her most apparent and daunting challenge would be managing a staff of 8,000 people across the globe, with more than 75 percent of them in USAID offices abroad. “I know that she has a vision to revitalize USAID while bringing about stronger coordination among all the parts of government involved in humanitarian aid, economic growth, democracy and governance, and global health,” said Rice. “Henrietta Fore is the best person for the worthy task of building a ‘whole of government’ approach to foreign assistance,” she added, unequivocally backing the appointment.
Fore’s career with the US government spans close to two decades, starting as USAID Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise and Assistant Administrator for Asia from 1989 to 1993. She was appointed as the US Department of Treasury Mint Director in 2001 and as Undersecretary for Management in the US Department of State in 2005. She also founded the United States Asia Environmental Partnership, an association of business, government and community organizations in the United States and in Asian nations. Fore was also a founder of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps.
The Administrator holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Wellesley College and a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. She has also studied International Politics at Oxford University and had a brief academic stint at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.