Gretchen Birkle

Deputy Assistant Administrator

Gretchen Birkle joined the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia in August 2017, where she serves as Deputy Assistant Administrator.  In this capacity, she oversees U.S. development policy in the region and a portfolio of bilateral and regional programs in democracy and governance, energy security and economic growth.  Ms. Birkle brings more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the public and private sectors, including 17 years of international development experience.

Prior to USAID, Ms. Birkle served overseas and at Washington, DC headquarters with the International Republican Institute (IRI).  She oversaw the implementation of the Institute’s first global initiatives on women and youth, served as chief of party in Kabul, Afghanistan, and served as regional director for Africa, where she expanded programming to the Sahel and on preventing violent extremism initiatives.  Ms. Birkle joined IRI in 1999 as a program officer for Ukraine and Belarus, and as deputy director for Eurasia, expanded IRI programs to Central Asia.

Ms. Birkle’s public sector experience includes work from 2004-2006 as a senior coordinator in the Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  She also served as a board representative to the interagency process for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.  From 1997-1999, Ms. Birkle was a legislative assistant to Senator Arlen Specter, where she covered foreign affairs, defense and foreign operations appropriations subcommittees, and energy issues.

Ms. Birkle’s private sector experience includes work in the energy and environment group of Ogilvy public affairs, and writing on emerging markets in the former Soviet Union with a Washington-based trade magazine.

Ms. Birkle graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with a MA in Soviet Studies and International Economics, and from the Pennsylvania State University with a BA in International Politics and a minor in Russian Area Studies.

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