Cindy Huang

SPIA Advisory Council Co-Chair Cindy Huang MPA ’02 Named USAID Policy Director

Oct 24 2023
By David Pavlak
Source Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Throughout a career that has seen her serve in the State Department during the Obama administration, manage billions to advance inclusive development around the world, and, most recently, direct the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services, Cindy Huang MPA ’02 is ready for a new challenge. On October 5, she was sworn in as the policy director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

USAID’s mission is to promote and demonstrate democratic values abroad, and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. Through a series of partnerships and investments, USAID aims to reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance.

“I have had the privilege of moving between civil society, research, and government roles to advance global development and humanitarian goals,” Huang said. “This position at USAID gives me the opportunity to build on my experience and work with incredible professionals across the world to address today's complex and cross-cutting challenges.”

In announcing Huang’s appointment, Administrator Samantha Power said, “Throughout her career, Cindy has shown an extraordinary ability to master differing approaches — excelling as both a thinker and a doer, working from the outside then coming in, to work from the inside, holding the power of individual people and the constraints of the systems they operate within in her mind all at once. And this is just so unusual, and so exceptional.”

A 2002 MPA graduate, Huang is co-chair of SPIA’s Advisory Council. She credits the School of Public and International Affairs for helping her reach her professional goals.

“SPIA trained me to analyze complex issues, develop recommendations, and present them in a concise and compelling way,” Huang said. “More importantly, SPIA connected me with dynamic leaders who continue to advise and mentor me. I'm happy and honored to give back as co-chair of the SPIA Advisory Council.”