William J. Garvelink

Senior Adviser (Non-resident), U.S. Leadership in Development and Global Food Security Project

William J. Garvelink comes to CSIS after a career with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he most recently served as a senior adviser to Administrator Rajiv Shah until November 2012. Ambassador Garvelink now serves as senior adviser for global strategy at the International Medical Corps. During his tenure at USAID, he served as deputy coordinator for development for the presidential Feed the Future: Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, where he assumed his duties in May 2010. From October 2007 to May 2010, he served as U.S. ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he managed a staff of 470 and oversaw bilateral and multilateral assistance programs of more than $900 million annually. Prior to his appointment as ambassador, he served as principal deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, where his responsibilities included oversight of USAID’s worldwide humanitarian assistance and democracy programs.

From 1999 to 2001, Ambassador Garvelink served as USAID mission director in Eritrea, where he administered a development and relief program valued at more than $55 million. From 1988 to 1999, he served in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), first as the assistant director for response and then as deputy director. While at OFDA, he conducted assessments and directed relief operations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Near East, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. He led Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) to Albania, Armenia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Northern Iraq, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, and Iran. He has also chaired USAID task forces on the Indian Ocean tsunami, Pakistan earthquake, and Lebanon conflict. Prior to his work in OFDA, he served for two years in the Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration with responsibilities for southern Africa. He was posted for four years in Bolivia for USAID and served for three years as a staff member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ambassador Garvelink is a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of minister counselor. He has received numerous Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards from the State Department and USAID and two Senior Foreign Service Presidential Meritorious Awards. He holds a B.A. degree from Calvin College and an M.A. degree from the University of Minnesota.