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Asian Pacific Heritage Month: Ken Yamashita


Office of Civil Rights
Washington, DC
May 2009

Date: 04/27/2009 Description: Ken Yamashita. State Dept PhotoSince January 20, 2009, Dr. S. Ken Yamashita has been Acting Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Dr. Yamashita was appointed in March 2008 USAID’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E). He serves as E&E’s chief operating officer, overseeing program and management systems for the Bureau’s programs spanning 15 countries in Europe and Eurasia. Dr. Yamashita’s responsibilities include strategic planning, policy and program implementation, and financial, human and administrative resource management. Dr. Yamashita represents USAID/E&E as a principal interlocutor with the National Security Council, the Department of State and other U.S. government agencies regarding policy and programming.

A Senior Executive Foreign Service Officer with a rank of Minister Counselor, Dr. Yamashita has served USAID for 15 years. His prior assignments include: Director, Office of Health, USAID/Ecuador (1993 – 1995); Division Chief, Policy Division, Global Center for Health, Population, and Nutrition, USAID/Washington (1995 – 1998); Director, Office of Health, USAID/South Africa (1998 – 2001); Deputy Mission Director, USAID/Peru; Mission Director, USAID/Kosovo (2004-2006); and, Director, Office of HIV/AIDS, USAID/Washington (2006-2008).

Before joining USAID, Dr. Yamashita worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Futures Group, and the United Nations.

A native of Kobe, Japan, Dr. Yamashita received a B.A. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1975, and a Ph.D. in population and development economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1980. He has received numerous awards and citations for his contributions to development.

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