New York: Indian-American Sonali Korde sworn in as Assistant to the Administrator of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). As the U.S. Government lead for international disaster response, BHA monitors, mitigates, and responds to global threats and humanitarian needs. Sonali recently served as the Deputy US Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues. He led the country’s diplomatic efforts to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power said in a statement, ‘Leading the Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance is one of the toughest jobs at USAID. This is a time of extreme global conflict, climate-induced disasters and displacement, and we all know that the demand for aid exceeds our ability to provide it.’ Power said that ‘BHA needs a leader who can deftly navigate the bureaucracy to deliver an efficient response, who has the personal skills, congressional contacts and budget-making experience to advocate for those in need. And someone who can produce, nurture, and empower teams to move forward and face the moment. This is Sonali, special Sonali, unique Sonali.
Power said Sonali’s Indian immigrant parents, who attended the swearing-in ceremony, “admired her for working for the world outside their Cranford, New Jersey home.” He praised Sonali’s ‘strong sense of justice and desire to eliminate inequality and injustice’. He said it comes from his parents. Power said that ‘they made frequent trips to India, where Sonali saw a tale of two countries, such incredible dynamism and growing intelligence, culture, but also such extreme poverty that persists in many parts of the country.’
According to BHA, Sonali has extensive experience in legislative affairs, national security policy, global health and humanitarian assistance. Before joining BHA, Sonali served as Deputy Chief for Policy in the Office of the Administrator at USAID, and before that as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs. In this role he provided strategic and operational oversight of USAID’s engagement with the U.S. Congress, including negotiations with members of Congress, their committees, and staff on USAID legislative and budget issues.
Having worked in various roles for USAID since 2004, she has a background in legislative affairs, national security policy, infectious diseases and emergency humanitarian response, and global health, BHA said. From 2019-2020, Sonali served as the Senior Policy Advisor on the Ebola response in Eastern Congo, as well as the Deputy Director for Coordination on the COVID-19 Response. Korde holds an MA in International Relations from Yale University and an MA in Economics from New York University. I have done B.S.