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26/07/2010: Filipino American Appointed as New RP Mission Director for USAID

26 JULY 2010, WASHINGTON D.C. - Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa personally congratulated Filipino American Gloria Diño Steele when the latter was sworn-in as the new Mission Director for USAID/Philippines in a ceremony held on 20 July 2010 at the Washington DC headquarters of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In his remarks delivered during the ceremony, Ambassador Gaa extolled Ms. Steele for the well-deserved appointment and noted that her designation as Mission Director reaffirms the U.S. Government’s continued confidence in the Philippines as a strategic development partner for more than four decades.

“Ms. Steele’s proven track record in development work, especially in the areas of global health, food security and national resource management, will help ensure that the U.S. Government’s Country Assistance Strategy, whose cross-cutting themes are complimentary to the platform of good governance of President Benigno Aquino III, will be achieved” Ambassador Gaa stated in his address.

In 2009, USAID’s priority projects in the Philippines resulted in the completion of almost 1,100 projects in Mindanao, the training in higher-value farming of more than 8,300 ex-fighters from the Moro National Liberation Front, the provision of 800 education matching grants to more than 655 schools under the Growth with Equity in Mindanao program, and the disposition of more than 3,500 cases under the Small Claims Court Program implemented through the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Steele was the Senior Deputy Administrator responsible for overseeing the planning, operations, and the financial and human resource management of USAID’s Global Health Bureau, which has a total staff of about 250.  Ms. Steele oversaw the strategy, program development, and budgeting operations for the Bureau, which in 2008, managed or co-managed $1.8 billion.

From 1974-1980, Ms. Steele served as a consultant to the Philippines’ Minister of Agriculture.  She taught Business Economics at Letran Graduate School for Business in Manila in 1979.

Ms. Steele received a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Maryknoll College in the Philippines.