Margot Ellis

Speeches Shim

Margot Ellis
Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator

Margot Ellis joined the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia (E&E) in August 2016, where she serves as Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator. She brings a wealth of senior management experience in both the public and private sectors, with more than 25 years in international development and humanitarian response, including work in transformational, in-conflict, emergency and fragile state situations. Prior to her current appointment in the E&E Bureau, Ms. Ellis served for 18 months 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 (UNRWA), where she provided strategic direction and operational leadership to advance UNRWA’s mandate to support the relief and development needs of five million Palestine refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Ms. Ellis previously served for 23 years as a United States Foreign Service Officer, receiving the 2009 Meritorious Senior Foreign Service Presidential Rank Award. She served 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.

Her prior Foreign Service assignments included leadership of USAID’s Private Sector Office in South Africa during the initial years of the post-apartheid government, and as Program Officer 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.