In Sept. 2013, Angelique Crumbly, ESIA BA ’89, was sworn in as the the assistant administrator of the Bureau for Management for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We recently sat down with this ESIA alumna, who also holds a graduate degree in public management from Georgetown, to find out about her new position, her advice for students and why, as she says “the Elliott School was instrumental in shaping [her] career path and ultimate success.”
GW: What excites you most about your new role as USAID’s assistant administrator for the Bureau for Management?
AC: I have an incredible team of over 1,000 committed professionals who perform the critical functions that make development possible. We sign the contracts and grants that fund our development partners and procure goods and services. We ensure that employees in over 80 countries around the world are paid and have the support they need while working far from home.
We make Agency management policy and manage the operational budget. We make sure the computers, phones and other technology work around the world and we keep the lights on. It gives me great pleasure and I am very excited about the opportunity to work with such a fine cadre of professionals.
I am also excited about the opportunity to play a significant role in USAID’s reforms. The Agency is undertaking significant institutional reforms in order to achieve an ambitious development strategy. These reforms are putting the foundation in place to effectively address the challenges of the 21st century. Most of all, I am excited to be a part of an Agency that is improving the lives of populations around the world on behalf of the American people.
GW: What drew you to USAID’s mission?
AC: I have had an interest in world affairs for as long as I can remember. I grew up in Erie, PA, in a home where I was exposed to a world view. My mother was politically active and always encouraged me to be socially conscience. I was drawn to USAID because of my desire to help improve the lives of others.
GW: What is the most challenging aspect of your work? The most rewarding?
AC: The most challenging aspect of my work is that USAID works in over 80 countries around the world with different cultures, time zones and logistical concerns. Despite these challenges, the Management Bureau is able to deliver the support and services needed to do the Agency’s work. The most rewarding aspect of the work is the opportunity to travel around the world to see firsthand the impact that USAID is having in providing a better future for people in developing countries, while also advancing key national interests. It makes me so proud to know that the work of the Management Bureau is helping to make the development results possible.
GW: Did your time at GW impact your career path?
AC: I was in the first class to attend the Elliot School for International Affairs, where I received an undergraduate degree in international politics. My studies at the Elliott School provided a good foundation in politics, cultures, economics and the events that shape the world. As a part of the program of study, we were exposed to the work of the State Department, USAID and other organizations working in the international arena. The experience solidified my decision to pursue a career in international affairs. I have a true appreciation for the outstanding foundation I received at the Elliott School.
GW: What advice do you have for those who are pursuing a career in international development, or for students who are studying international affairs?
AC: For students who are interested in working in the international development field, my advice includes the following:
- There are many career paths in the international arena. I started my career at USAID as an intern in the procurement field and moved into progressively more responsible management positions. I would advise students to decide whether they want to pursue a management path or be a technical specialist. Both can be incredibly rewarding.
- Pursue a graduate degree in a field that prepares you for the chosen path. The international development field is extremely competitive. A graduate degree in the chosen field will position students to compete.
- Develop good communication skills. Oral and written communication skills are very important. The ability to write clear and concise reports and other communications is key to success.
- Be persistent.
–Thanks so much to Angelique Crumbly for sharing her story! For more information about USAID, visit: www.usaid.gov