Carla Koppell is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In that role, she is creating, communicating and executing strategic initiatives across the Agency, focused particularly on improving Bureau strategic planning and management for results. As CSO, she is fostering Agency-wide coordination and enhancing internal communications, transparency and accountability. Koppell brings to the position twenty-five years of experience working in international affairs.
Prior to serving as CSO, Koppell served as USAID’s first Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment and a Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator. In that role, she spearheaded a transformation in the approach of US development assistance to empowering and benefitting women and girls globally. Under her leadership, USAID developed a new Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy as well as specific Agency-wide strategies and plans for advancing the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the US Strategy for Preventing and Combatting Gender-based Violence Globally. Koppell served as USAID’s representative to the White House Council on Women and Girls and contributed to Government-wide efforts ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment are core goals of US foreign policy.
Previously, Koppell directed The Institute for Inclusive Security and the Washington, DC office of Hunt Alternatives Fund where she strived to ensure that peace processes around the world involve women and civil society. During her tenure, Koppell worked extensively with leaders from volatile conflict zones around the world including Afghans, Colombians, Iraqis, Israelis, Liberian, Palestinians, South Sudanese, and Sudanese.
Earlier in her career, Koppell was senior adviser and, prior to that, interim director of the Conflict Prevention Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, where she authored “Preventing the Next Wave of Conflict: Understanding Non-Traditional Threats to Global Stability.” Koppell served as deputy assistant secretary for international affairs of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), helping steward bilateral relationships with South Africa, China, and Israel in addition to overseeing HUD contributions to Central America and the Caribbean reconstruction following Hurricanes Mitch and Georges. She also directed the USAID climate change program and, earlier in her career, worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Koppell received her M.A. in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her B.S. from Cornell University.