William Haven North passed away on December 12. He was 91. He retired from USAID in 1989 at the rank of Career Minister after 38 years of US government service, including two years in the U.S. Army.
Haven North was born in Summit, New Jersey on August 17, 1926. He graduated from Summit High School and was drafted into the U.S Army in 1944. He served the infantry in Europe, primarily Germany, for two years and played the trombone in the Seventh Army Band. He graduated from Wesleyan University, majoring in history, in 1949 and received his Masters in European History from Columbia University in 1951. Haven North and Jeanne Foote married in 1950.
Haven North began his civilian government career in 1952 as a Foreign Service Officer in the Technical Cooperation Agency—created to implement “Point Four” of President Truman’s inaugural address. Within six months, he was assigned to Ethiopia where he served for five years in the program office and as a research assistant supporting the Ministry of Education. In 1957, he returned to Washington to the Europe Bureau, supporting Marshall Plan projects and planning long-term assistance for newly independent African states. From 1961 to 1965, he served as the Assistant Director for Program in USAID’s new mission to Nigeria, the largest technical assistance program in the world at that time.
After a year of mid-career training at Harvard, he returned to Washington as the Office Director for Central and West Africa and the coordinator of relief operations during the Nigerian civil war. In 1970, he was sworn in as the Mission Director to Ghana, where he served for five and half years.
He was the Deputy Assistant Administrator, and Acting Assistant Administrator, in the Africa Bureau from 1976 to 1982, under three presidential administrations. During this period, the New Directions policy led to the expansion of USAID’s presence in the region. After leaving the Africa Bureau, Haven North laid the groundwork for creating the African Development Foundation. From 1983 to 1989, he created and led USAID’s Center for Development Information & Evaluation, and served as the chair of the OECD/Development Assistance Committee’s Expert Group on Evaluation for four years. He retired in January 1989.
After leaving USAID, Haven North worked as a consultant to the World Bank, UNDP, the IFC, the IDB, USAID, the OECD/DAC and the Global Environmental Facility. He led evaluations and advised on capacity development, technical assistance, HIV/AIDS, post-apartheid strategies for South Africa, and USAID’s program in Iraq.
He also interviewed retired USAID officers about their careers to create a library of over 100 oral histories, and he worked for the U.S. Institute of Peace in recording oral histories of U.S. civilians and military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Haven and Jeanne North were married for almost 65 years. They shared a love of international development and social justice and were active in their church. With retirement from USAID, he devoted more of his time to the Bethesda United Methodist Church and especially to the community outreach programs and the Community Ministry (now, Interfaith Works).
Haven North is survived by his sister Louise Grey; daughter Jeannette Thannikary and her husband Cy; sons W. Ashby North and Charles North and Charles’s wife Sharon; and granddaughters Aarica North, and her husband Liam Voth, and Sarah North.
A memorial service will be held on January 6 2017, at 2:00, at the Bethesda United Methodist Church, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. In lieu of flowers, the family recommends donations to the Bethesda United Methodist Church (washmorefeet.org), Interfaith Works (iworksmc.org), the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (adst.org) and the UAA’s USAID History Project (email@example.com).
Cards to the family can be sent to Charles North at 1605 Wrightson Drive, McLean, VA 22101.