Elisabeth Kvitashvili

Retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, USAID

Elisabeth Kvitashvili is an accomplished development professional with global humanitarian and crisis response leadership and field operations expertise spanning more than 35 years. A career Senior Foreign Service Officer who served as USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives as well as Russia, she also served in Pakistan, Honduras, Russia, Italy, and Afghanistan before retiring in October, 2015. She also served as Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Middle East with oversight of the Iraq, Jordan and Yemen portfolios, Humanitarian Affairs Counselor to the U.S. Ambassador, USUN-Rome and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.   

While in Afghanistan, 2002-2003, she led USAID’s reconstruction program.  In the mid-1980’s she was based in Peshawar, Pakistan where she designed the USAID Cross Border Humanitarian Assistance Program for Afghanistan. During 1997-1998, she traveled throughout Afghanistan undertaking humanitarian assessments with the UN.  She has also spent significant field time in the North and South Caucasus, Iraq, Nepal, Bosnia, Rwanda, Burundi, the DRC, Ethiopia and Eritrea working primarily on humanitarian and conflict-related programs.

She has been an adjunct at Johns Hopkins University-SAIS and most recently Georgetown University where she taught a graduate-level course on conflict. 

In retirement, Elisabeth advises a number of for-profit and non-profit organizations with development and humanitarian programs in the Middle East and volunteers at the International Rescue Committee on refugee resettlement.

She holds a master’s degree in Near East Studies from the University Of London School Of Oriental and African Studies and a diploma in international relations from Paris University School of Political Science.