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Veena Reddy Becomes First Indian American Mission Director to Lead USAID India

Veena Reddy Becomes First Indian American Mission Director to Lead USAID India

  • After starting out as a lawyer at a private practice, she has been with the agency since 2005, most recently serving in Cambodia.

Indian American Veena Reddy was sworn in on July 26 as the mission director for U.S. Agency for International Development’s India chapter (USAID India). She is the first Indian American to serve in the role. Reddy started out as a lawyer at a private practice and within seven years joined the USAID and has been with the agency since as a foreign service officer.

India’s Ambassador to the U.S., Taranjot Singh Sandhu, and Atul Keshap, Chargé D’affaires at United States Embassy in India, both attended Reddy’s virtual swearing-in. 

“Best wishes, Veena USAID-India. India-USAID partnership has the potential to make a difference to the lives of people not only in India and US but across the world!” Sandhu tweeted.

Taking to Twitter, Keshap wrote: “It was my immense pleasure to attend the swearing-in ceremony for the incoming @usaid_india Mission Director Veena Reddy today. Congratulations and I look forward to working closely with you to advance the #USIndia relationship! #USIndiaDosti

Most recently, Reddy was USAID/Cambodia’s mission director. She arrived in Cambodia in August 2017 and currently oversees a staff of 75 as well as USAID programs in the food security, environment, health, education, child protection, and democracy and governance sectors.

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She has served as the deputy mission director in Haiti, where she oversaw post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, elections support, economic growth, food security interventions, hurricane response, and the development of a new strategy.

Before joining USAID, Reddy served in Washington as an assistant general counsel, covering legal matters for USAID’s programs in Asia, Middle East, and Afghanistan, and Pakistan. She has also served in USAID missions in Pakistan, the Central Asian Republics, and Central America.

She has also worked as a corporate attorney at Rogers & Wells in New York and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in London and Los Angeles. She holds a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Columbia University School of Law, as well as MA and BA degrees from the University of Chicago. Additionally, she is a member of the New York and California bars.

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