Veena Reddy Takes Over As First Indian-American Mission Director Of USAID In India

Indian-American Veena Reddy has taken over as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director in India. Reddy is the first Indian-American to assume this role as a career member of the US senior foreign service. 

Reddy will lead USAID’s operations in India and Bhutan. On Thursday, August 5, she said that she would put an effort to make the organisation’s seven-decade-old partnership with the people and government of India even more robust. 

Ambassador Atul Keshap, the acting head of the US embassy, expressed “pride and admiration” for Reddy. He said that this reflects the “accomplishments of Indian Americans in all walks of life in America”. 

Veena Reddy is USAID/Cambodia’s Mission Director. A Foreign Service Officer with the US Agency for International Development, Reddy arrived in Cambodia in August 2017. At present, she oversees a staff of 75 and USAID programs in the food security, environment, health, education, child protection, and democracy and governance sectors. 

Reddy has earlier served as Deputy Mission Director in Haiti, where she was responsible for overseeing post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, elections support, economic growth, food security interventions, hurricane response, and the development of a new strategy.  

Reddy has also served in Washington as an Assistant General Counsel, where she covered legal matters for USAID’s programs in Asia, Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. She has served in USAID missions in Pakistan, the Central Asian Republics, and Central America.  

Reddy was earlier a corporate attorney at Rogers & Wells in New York and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld in London and Los Angeles. A member of the New York and California bars, she holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Columbia University School of Law and an MA and BA degree from the University of Chicago.  

As per USAID’s website, its objective “is to support partners to become self-reliant and capable of leading their own development journeys. We make progress toward this by reducing the reach of conflict, preventing the spread of pandemic disease, and counteracting the drivers of violence, instability, transnational crime and other security threats. We promote American prosperity through investments that expand markets for US exports; create a level playing field for US businesses; and support more stable, resilient, and democratic societies. We stand with people when disaster strikes or crisis emerges as the world leader in humanitarian assistance.” 

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