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Jeremy Konyndyk
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Jeremy Konyndyk is the Director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the lead federal actor responsible for coordinating the U.S. Government’s response to international disasters. He leads OFDA’s global team of over 300 people, and oversees annual resources of more than $700 million, focused on OFDA’s mandate to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the economic and social impact of disasters.

Prior to working at OFDA, Jeremy led global advocacy efforts for Mercy Corps. Earlier in his career he led humanitarian and post-conflict recovery operations in Kosovo, Guinea, South Sudan and Uganda, and also worked for the State Department. His commentary on aid and development issues has been featured on NPR, the BBC, the Diane Rehm Show and the PBS NewsHour. Jeremy holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Calvin College and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown.

Entries by Jeremy Konyndyk

Providing Humanitarian Assistance During Unprecedented Times

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 10:20 AM

Today is World Humanitarian Day, a day to commemorate the fallen relief workers who died in the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, as well as the thousands of others who have given their lives to help those in need. Last year marked the most violent year for...

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A Tale of Two Cyclones

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 10:37 AM

In October 1999, a massive cyclone slammed into the eastern coast of India, killing at least 10,000 people. A few weeks ago, a very similar cyclone, Phailin, struck the same region. The news coverage ahead of Phailin painted a frightening picture of a storm the size...

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Obama's Global Development Legacy

(5) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 11:27 PM

President Obama has been a strong supporter of foreign aid throughout his first term, which is not surprising for someone who spent part of his childhood in developing countries and was the son of a development expert. But unlike his predecessor, he has yet to translate his support into an...

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Kony 2012 -- Why the Backlash Matters

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 12:49 PM

A number of pundits have rushed to cast the firestorm around the Kony 2012 video as pointless squabbling, with Nick Kristof the latest to chime in. After all, they argue, how could anyone question an effort to raise awareness about the damage done by...

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Will the U.S. Stand By As Famine Looms in Somalia?

(11) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 10:14 AM

"The drought has gotten so bad that we have seen camels dying of thirst," recounted a Mercy Corps colleague during my recent visit to Somalia. While crises in Sudan, Libya and Japan may get the headlines, the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today -- by a long shot --...

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How Rajiv Shah Can Buck the System: 5 Tips from the Frontlines of Conflict and Development

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2011 | 7:40 AM

With fragile states increasingly constituting first-tier US foreign policy priorities and global development funding being targeted by budget hawks in Congress, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah is making the case for his agency's relevance in the 21st century. Quoting Defense Secretary Gates' observation that "development is a lot cheaper than sending...

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