Georgia State University Alumnus Commended as USAID Mission Director

Since earning his doctorate in economics from Georgia State University nine years ago, Jim Barnhart has been busy breaking new ground for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Zambia, Pakistan, Lebanon and, most recently, Albania, where he has served as mission director since August 2012.

Jim Barnhart (Ph.D. in Economics ’04)

Jim Barnhart (Ph.D. in Economics ’04)

This month Balkan Business Today reported that Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha expressed appreciation for USAID’s support of agribusiness and wished Barnhart success in his new role.

In February, Barnhart collaborated with General Inspector of Albania Mimoza Hajdarmataj and signed a partnership agreement to support Albania’s E-Inspection system. As reported by the embassy, the agreement allows the USAID to provide Albania’s Central Inspectorate with 260 portable inspection kits that include laptop computers, portable scanners and printers for efficient and real-time health, safety and environmental inspections of the country’s businesses and institutions.

In his role as mission director, Barnhart’s primary responsibility is supporting Albania’s progress toward joining the European Union, according to the USAID . He also oversees USAID programs that help the country strengthen its democratic institutions and governance and accelerate private sector-led growth.

Before leading the Albania office, Barnhart was mission director for Lebanon, where he optimized the impact of USAID assistance and implemented U.S. government assistance reform. During his two-year tenure there, he adjusted USAID activities to embrace political events within Lebanon and the region. Barnhart has also served as USAID’s associate mission director for economic growth and education and acting economic growth office director in Pakistan. He was recognized there for leading his USAID teams through an extraordinary year of transformation, which included doubling the foreign assistance budget and instituting a new model for implementation built upon Pakistani ownership of U.S. assistance. Prior to that position he served with USAID in Zambia, where, as the supervisory general development officer stationed in Lusaka, he managed the design, implementation and completion of Zambia’s Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth.