Indian-American Sonali Korde sworn in as assistant to USAID administrator

Indian-American Sonali Korde was sworn in on Monday as assistant to USAID Administrator Samantha Power for the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance. “I view Sonali, and I think this packed house speaks to this for so many here, but Sonali is really a gift to us all. And because we get to see a lot of her, in time, and a lot of her many qualities, which I will dwell on,” Power said during the swearing-in ceremony.

She said Korde’s parents, who migrated from India, gave her an incredible upbringing that endowed her with a deep appreciation for a world outside of their Cranford, New Jersey, home.

“They took frequent trips back to India where Sonali saw a tale of two countries, such incredible dynamism and burgeoning intellect, culture but also such extreme poverty that persists in many parts of the country — even with all of the success lifting so many hundreds of millions of people out of poverty — but seeing people with and people without, I think for Sonali just contributed to what her parents had instilled in her, which is a strong sense of justice and a desire to address inequity and unfairness,” Power said.
Before being sworn in as assistant to the administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance — the US government’s lead for international disaster response — Korde served as deputy assistant to the administrator for the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

During her time as deputy assistant to the administrator, Korde served as deputy to the US Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues charged with leading the country’s diplomacy efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Korde previously served on the National Security Council staff as director for Global Health and Development. In this role, she supported all aspects of the US government’s global health portfolio and linkages into broader development, security and bilateral diplomacy and cooperation goals. From 2005 to 2013, Korde served as a senior technical advisor for the President’s Malaria Initiative in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health. She was responsible for managing integrated malaria and public health programmes in Africa and Asia, in coordination with multilateral and bilateral donor partners, the World Health Organization and other United Nations organisations, NGOs and government counterparts.

Korde has an MA in international relations from Yale University and a BS in economics from New York University.

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