Celebration of Life: Sher Plunkett

There will be a memorial service for Hugh Sheridan “Sher” Plunkett on Saturday, July 30, 2022, 1 pm to 4 pm, at the Springfield Golf and Country Club at 8301 Old Keene Mill Road, Springfield, Virginia.  Those interested in attending the memorial service can RSVP Peggy Plunkett at plunkettpj1@hotmail.com.

Sher passed away unexpectedly on December 24, 2021, at his home in Springfield, Virginia.  He lived an extraordinary life as an anthropologist specializing in Asian studies with field work in India and Pakistan and as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

After undergraduate and graduate degrees at University of Chicago, he went on to complete a doctoral program at the University of California – Berkeley.

In 1975, Sher began working with USAID Pakistan and was commissioned a Foreign Service Officer. After Pakistan, he served as an anthropologist/evaluation officer in USAID Bangladesh and later became a visiting professor at Colorado State University.

During a four-year assignment with the Science and Technology Bureau in USAID Washington, Sher was a major player in the design and implementation of a landmark environmental program – DESFIL (Development Strategies for Fragile Areas).

USAID Nepal was his next assignment where he applied his social and cultural analysis skills to establish sustainable irrigation models still in use today.

From 1993 through 1998, Sher returned to Washington and worked on a major technical assistance program supporting USAID missions throughout Latin America.

During this period, he also worked on a major reengineering initiative.

Sher’s last overseas assignment in USAID was in Peru managing the Alternative Development Program where his efforts resulted in a significant increase in the incomes of small scale farmers.  

He returned to Washington DC in 2002 and finished his career working with colleagues in the Latin America Bureau.


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