Conversation with Chris Holmes

Christian Holmes USAID Global Water Coordinator

Christian Holmes was designated USAID’s Global Water Coordinator in February 2011. He is the first USAID executive to serve in this position. Holmes is the senior representative within USAID responsible for advising the USAID Administrator on water matters and for coordinating the implementation of key water program and policy initiatives, including USAID’s water strategy. He also serves as the primary spokesman and liaison with public and private organizations, including congressional leaders, to coordinate water efforts. Since rejoining USAID in January 2010 initially as the senior advisor for Energy and Environment, he has also been in the field supporting USAID missions in Pakistan, Yemen, Bangladesh and Ghana on water and food security matters.

Holmes brings extensive public and private sector experience in the international economic development, humanitarian assistance and environmental protection sectors. This includes having served as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (State/RP), Acting Director of the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Vice President, Environment, Safety and Health, Tenneco Energy.

At TDA, he led a global economic and trade development agency, concentrating on China. At OFDA and State/RP, he led relief efforts to help the victims of war and natural disasters throughout the developing world, including in East Timor, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Lebanon. Also at USAID, he served concurrently as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise and the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on International Private Enterprise.

At the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he served as that agency’s third ranking executive and held simultaneously two Senate-confirmed positions, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resource Management. He also served as EPA’s deputy for Federal Facilities Enforcement and Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. He received the EPA Gold Medal.

As a USAID Senior Foreign Service Officer with rank of Minister Counselor, he twice received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. He received the Arthur S. Fleming award for his leadership of OFDA.

Holmes served in the U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant, Civil Affairs, receiving the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism.

He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Middletown Connecticut, B.A., Government. He is one of the first five graduates in the history of Wesleyan University to be awarded by Wesleyan an honorary Master of Arts degree in recognition of his public-service achievements.

USAID Water and Development Strategy (.pdf)

News Coverage – USAID’s New Water Strategy Targets Health and Food (.pdf)

News Coverage – U.S. Strategy on Water Development a “Major Advance” (.pdf)