Development Issues Committee – Speaker Bios

U.S. Strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa

Ervin Massinga

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs

Ervin Massinga is a Foreign Service Minister Counselor and is the State Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs. Between 2020 and 2021, he served as the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, and between 2018 and 2020 he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Pakistan. Mr. Massinga served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Khartoum, Sudan from 2016-2018, and in Conakry, Guinea from 2013-2016. Other assignments include overseas tours in the Dominican Republic, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire and China, as well as domestic assignments in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of Energy and Economic Affairs, and at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mr. Massinga is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (1990) and the University of Washington’s Graduate School of Public Affairs (1995). He has studied Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.




Diana Putman

Senior Advisor, Bureau for Africa

Dr. Diana B. Putman is Senior Advisor in the Bureau for Africa. A career Senior Foreign Service Officer and second generation development specialist, Dr. Putman has spent most of her life overseas and has worked for USAID for 39 years. Most recently she was Mission Director in Timor-Leste for three years (2016-2019). She served before that for five years as Mission Director in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) while overseeing and providing regional services for the Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and also Counter-Lord’s Resistance Army activities.

Dr. Putman spent three years on detail at the U.S. Africa Command where she oversaw humanitarian, health, and pandemic response activities and was acting Senior Development Advisor for significant periods.  Dr. Putman worked a total of 20 years in Indonesia, Tunisia, Tanzania, Kenya/Regional, and Jordan where she managed or oversaw activities in agriculture, irrigation, potable water, environment and natural resources, private sector and financial development, tax and customs reform, population and health, gender, democracy and governance among others. Other official postings include USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. where she worked with the Asia and Near East Bureaus, on the Newly Independent States Task Force, as Chair of the Democracy Working Group for the West Bank/Gaza Task Force. She also did post-doctoral research on gender issues in Japan on leave from the Agency, and consultancies in Africa before joining USAID in 1983.

Dr. Putman has three degrees in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. She also studied at the Universite de Grenoble.  Fluent in French, she remains conversant in Indonesian and Swahili and has studied five other languages.  Dr. Putman has received numerous individual and group awards from USAID, State, and the Department of Defense. She is especially proud to have received a State Department Award for Heroism, one of AFSA’s awards for Constructive Dissent, and the Washington Association for Practicing Anthropologists Praxis Award.

W. Gyude Moore

Senior Policy Fellow, CGD

W. Gyude Moore is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD). He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works with oversight over the construction and maintenance of public infrastructure from December 2014 to January 2018. Prior to that role, Moore served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Head of the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU).

At CGD, Mr. Moore’s policy analysis and research focus are governance, the financing of infrastructure, and Africa’s response to the changing landscape of external actors. His focus tracks the policies of traditional, aspiring, and emerging actors on the continent, especially the rise of China and its expanding role in Africa. Mr. Moore is a lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy where he teaches a class on the role of infrastructure in the practice of foreign policy and international development. Mr. Moore provides expert analysis and is frequently quoted in print, on radio, and on television. He currently serves as co-chair of the Board of Advisors of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University and on the Board of Directors of Management Sciences for Health and the Charter Cities Institute.



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