Diana Putman ’78, Ph.D. ’85, was sworn in as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s mission director to the Democratic Republic of Congo in late July. “Putman will oversee a $306 million program that focuses on bolstering peace and stability; protecting civilians; strengthening governance institutions; and supporting economic recovery, growth, and the provision of basic social services, including health and education,” says the USAID website.
Before her appointment as mission director, Putman served as the humanitarian assistance branch chief at the U.S. Africa Command. Her international-development experience in the region also includes service in Tunisia, Tanzania, and Kenya.
“A career Foreign Service Officer, Putman has worked on a variety of challenging assignments at USAID” the agency’s press release says. “In Washington, she worked with the Asia and Near East Bureaus, on the Newly Independent States Task Force, and as chair of the Democracy Working Group for the West Bank/Gaza Task Force, and also overseas in Indonesia and Jordan. In addition, she has done graduate work and consulting in Mali, Rwanda and Somalia, where she undertook her doctoral research on agro-pastoralists in the Bay Region in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s she conducted post-doctoral research on women and gender differences with Fulbright and National Science Foundation support.”
Last year, Putman was awarded the American Foreign Service Association’s William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent for her persistence in suggesting an improvement to a plan to conduct short-term surgical or psychological treatment of victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.