Mr. James Watson began his USAID career in 1989 in Washington, DC, soon after graduating from the University of Virginia. From 1992-1996, he served in Budapest as USAID/Hungary’s Project Development Officer and Local Government Team Leader. He subsequently spent three years in Washington, DC, working in the Europe and Eurasia Bureau where he served as the Romania and Turkey Desk Officer, the Deputy Chief of the Civil Society Division, and USAID’s Liaison to the State Department on Kosovo.
From Washington, Mr. Watson spent two years in Georgia at the USAID/Caucasus Mission as Chief of the Economic Restructuring Office, Five years as the Program Officer at USAID/Mozambique, and two years as the Program Officer for USAID/Southern Africa.
He served in the Dominican Republic from December 2008 through May 2012 as both Deputy Director (18 months) and acting Mission Director (two years). Mr. Watson was USAID Director in Honduras from 2012-2017, where he led his team in pioneering violence prevention programs and helping poor farm families move out of poverty.
From 2017-2020, Mr. Watson will be serving as the USAID Development Diplomat in Residence for Alabama, Florida, Georgia (physical location), Tennessee, and Mississippi. He is joined by his wife and two children.
Mr. Watson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a concentration in Latin America from the University of Virginia and completed graduate coursework in Development from American University, George Washington University, and Georgia State University.