Idris M. Diaz

IdrisIt is with profound sadness that USAID shares the news that our friend and colleague, Idris Michael Diaz, retired Foreign Service Officer and Deputy General Counsel, passed away on July 22, 2021, after a battle with a rare form of leukemia.  He passed at home peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his family.

Idris joined USAID in 2002 and served as Resident Legal Officer in Senegal, Pakistan, and India; as Assistant General Counsel for Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia and Latin America; as Deputy General Counsel; and as Deputy Mission Director to USAID/India.  He retired from USAID in 2019.

Idris had a deep affection for the people, music, art, and religions of each of the places where he served or visited.  He embraced diversity, equity, and inclusion; and civil and human rights and justice from his days as a journalist, before entering public service, through to his time with USAID.  He earned the gratitude and respect of USAID leadership and of his colleagues and friends around the world.

Idris’ work and his life and worldview were rooted in his experience as an African American growing up in Queens, N.Y., and his avid interest in and study of diverse faiths, the martial arts, yoga, and meditation.  Idris was especially proud to become certified as a yoga teacher last year.  He celebrated the cultures of New Orleans and Honduras that were intertwined in his background and was fascinated by how cultures bring together and influence people.

Idris had an uncanny ability to connect with people.  He was a great listener, advisor, and storyteller.  He was charming and had a talent for speaking hard truths and staying true to himself and his principles, yet never losing his sense of fun and humor.  Idris also shared a deep love for friends and family—including his three siblings, his nieces and nephews and his current partner—and he nurtured his relationships with each of them with attention and care.

A celebration of Idris’ life will be planned in the coming months.  If you wish to be added to the family’s notification list, please add your information to the Virtual Memory Book for Idris Diaz.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Diaz.  Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to: Michelle Godette, GC/AFR, (202) 712-0221,

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