Margot Ellis photo

Margot Ellis

Margot Ellis photo

Margot Ellis is an accomplished executive with more than 30 years of experience in international development and humanitarian response with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the United Nations, including work in transformational, in-conflict, emergency, and fragile state situations. She was the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E) from 2016 – 2022, also serving as Acting Assistant Administrator for two and a half years. She received two Presidential Meritorious Awards in 2022 and 2009 and is a member of the Senior Foreign Service.

Prior to her appointment in the E&E Bureau, Ms. Ellis served for two years as Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security, working to institutionalize Feed the Future and model the next generation of USAID’s global food security programming. Her return to USAID in early 2015 was immediately preceded by her five-year tenure as the Deputy Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, where she provided strategic direction and operational leadership to support the relief and development needs of five million Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

Ms. Ellis’ earlier United States Foreign Service Officer assignments included serving as Acting
Assistant Administrator for the USAID Asia Bureau from 2008-2010 and as Mission Director in Uganda for three years, providing strategic oversight to investments in health and economic growth, and efforts to mitigate the causes and consequences of conflict, including the transition from relief to recovery in northern Uganda. Ms. Ellis held leadership positions for six years in USAID’s Mission to the West Bank and Gaza from 1999 to 2005 during the second intifada, initially as Director of the Private Enterprise and Higher Education Team and then as the Mission’s Deputy Director. She also led USAID’ s Private Sector Office in South Africa during the initial years of the post-apartheid government, and directed the Program Office in Zimbabwe, responsible for bilateral and regional programming in southern Africa.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Ellis held positions in corporate finance with the Ford Motor Corporation, General Motors, and J.P. Morgan Chase. She graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business with an MBA in Finance and from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in Economics and Public Policy.

Since her retirement in April 2022, Margot has been enjoying traveling, mentoring foreign service officers, providing advisory support to various missions in the Europe & Eurasia region, and is serving on several boards of directors.

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