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September 6, 2023

On September 5, 2023, at a ceremony in Lilongwe, Ambassador David Young administered the oath of office to Pamela Fessenden as the new Mission Director in Malawi for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).  Deputy Chief of Mission Amy Diaz and USAID Malawi Acting Deputy Mission Director Joshua Karnes attended the ceremony along with other U.S. Mission Lilongwe staff.  As Mission Director, Ms. Fessenden will oversee USAID’s approximately $300 million annual development assistance that is working to improve the lives of all Malawians.

During the ceremony, Ambassador Young spoke highly about Ms. Fessenden’s experience: “Pamela’s leadership at USAID/Malawi comes at a sensitive and difficult time in which Malawians are facing challenges ranging from rising food costs to persistent fuel shortages and more.  The current economic challenges are making the work we do together with Malawi and progress, which aligns with Malawi 2063, that we seek to achieve more difficult.  However, Pamela’s extensive experience in international development, specifically in food security and humanitarian assistance, coupled with USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy, will help to promote a more self-reliant Malawi that is gender-equitable and democratically accountable.  Pamela’s passion for partnerships will also help in strengthening the U.S. government’s relationship with the government of Malawi, implementing partners, civil society, donors, and the private sector.”

Ms. Fessenden began her professional career with USAID in 2005.  She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service.  Prior to her arrival in Malawi, Ms. Fessenden served as the Mission Director for USAID Burma from 2021-23.  She joined the Burma Mission in 2018 as the Deputy Mission Director before assuming her role as the Mission Director in August 2021.

Previous assignments include serving as the Director of USAID’s Bureau for Food Security’s Markets, Partnerships, and Innovation Office from 2015-18.  Other overseas posts include Kenya (Regional Mission), Iraq, Sudan, and Afghanistan, where she served as an officer in Agriculture, Food Security, and Humanitarian Affairs.

USAID leads the U.S. government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises and progress beyond assistance.

For more information about USAID/Malawi, please visit www.usaid.gov/malawi.