The U.S. Senate has confirmed Marcela Escobari '96, 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, three 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," says 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."
A native of Bolivia, Escobari graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in economics and holds a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Since 2007, Escobari has served as executive director at Harvard's Center for International Development, a research center working to generate breakthrough ideas that bring stable, shared, and sustainable prosperity to developing countries. She is the co-editor of In the River They Swim: Essays From Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty; read a review by Richter Professor Emeritus of Political Science Raymond Hopkins in The Bulletin.