WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mar 5, 2011- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Special Assistant to the Administrator for Middle East George Laudato administered the oath of office to Senior Foreign Service Officer Robert Wilson as the new USAID Mission Director to Yemen.
"During this time of transition in the Middle East, we are pleased that Mr. Wilson will lead the Agency's efforts in Yemen. He brings an outstanding record of service in high profile, transitional posts and exemplary leadership skills to this critical post" said Laudato. "We are confident in Mr. Wilson's abilities to partner with the people of Yemen on critical development issues."
As Mission Director to Yemen, Wilson will lead an innovative strategy designed to increase stability in highly vulnerable areas of the country. He will oversee a mission whose $48 million bilateral budget this year is improving livelihoods and strengthening governance capacities in order to mitigate drivers of instability.
A member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Wilson most recently served as the USAID Mission Director to Pakistan, where he oversaw a $1.1 billion program focused on improving education and health care, expanding political participation, increasing economic growth and job creation, and improving administration of justice. After heavy monsoon flooding struck Pakistan in July 2010, Wilson directed the U.S. Government's nearly $550 million relief and recovery effort that delivered essential supplies and services to affected individuals and helped communities rebuild after the waters receded.
Wilson joined USAID in 1982 as an agricultural economist intern and has served in Georgia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mozambique, Peru, Barbados, Honduras, and Haiti. He was a Peace Corps volunteer for rural development in Togo, West Africa and holds an M.S. in agricultural economics from Purdue University.