The new Director of the United States Agency for Interna tional Development(USAID), Ray Kirkland, has assumed duty on Friday after taking
the oath of office administered by U.S Ambassador in Nigeria, Robin Renee Sander s , according to a statement from the Embassy made available to PANA in Lagos on F r iday.
“Dr. Kirkland’s demonstrated leadership abilities, professional integrity, and a nalytical skills will be invaluable to him in USAID’s role in the U.S. Governmen t ’s dynamic and inter-agency team supporting our U.S.-Nigeria Framework for Partn e rship,” Sanders said at the oath taking ceremony.
As director for USAID’s mission in Nigeria, Kirkland will oversee programmes to help Nigerians strengthen their democratic institutions, promote economic growth
and improve education and health services, including the President’s Emergency P l an for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Nigeria is one of the largest USAID missions in the
Kirkland is a career member of the USAID Senior Foreign Service and previously s erved as Mission Director for USAID’s Regional Services Centre in Budapest, Hung a ry, covering Europe and Eurasia, and in Tanzania.
Since July 2008, he has served as the US African Command (AFRICOM) Director of P rogrammes.Prior to joining USAID, Kirkland served as a U.N. adviser in Indonesia
(1980-82). He also served in the U.S. Navy in Cuba, the Philippines and South Vi e tnam as a Special Duty Officer, and holds the retired rank of Commander.
Kirkland holds a BA degree in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico, an MA degree in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, a post-graduate cer t ificate in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, England, and a P h.D. in Demography from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.