Washington, DC – On October 26, 2022, Maria Elena Barrón was sworn in as Mission Director of the USAID Mission to Niger at a ceremony officiated by Samantha Power, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Ms. Barrón’s responsibilities as Mission Director will include overseeing USAID’s annual approximate $200 million for Niger’s humanitarian and development programs. These programs focus on humanitarian assistance, health, food security, agriculture, education, democracy, good governance, and conflict prevention.
Most recently, Ms. Barrón completed four years in USAID/Mali to address Mali’s complex crisis and post-coup challenges. As the Office Director overseeing both the Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Team and the Humanitarian Assistance Team she supervised a $12 million annual development program for elections, justice, decentralization, and stabilization, and an annual $75 million food security and multisector humanitarian response. Her previous positions include the Democracy and Governance Office Director for USAID/Nepal, Office of Democracy and Governance Deputy Director for USAID/Afghanistan, Acting Rule of Law Team Leader for USAID/Mexico, Civil Society Specialist in USAID/Washington’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), and Democracy and Human Rights Officer in USAID/Washington’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau.
Ms. Barrón first joined USAID in 2001 as a Presidential Management Fellow and has served in Washington, D.C., Mexico, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Mali before moving to Niger in August 2022.
Originally from El Paso, Texas, Ms. Barrón earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2001, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Studies from Syracuse University in 1990.
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