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Michael J. Yates has served as Mission Director of the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) based in Bangkok, Thailand since May 2011. In this capacity he oversees regional programs addressing health, environment, economic growth and vulnerable populations in South and South East Asia as well as USAID bilateral programs in countries including China, Laos, and Thailand.
Dr. Yates joined USAID in 1987 and is now a Career Minister in the U.S. Foreign Service. He received the President’s Meritorious Service Award in January 2011. Prior to assuming his position at USAID/RDMA he was the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT) at USAID headquarters in Washington, D.C. He has also served as USAID Mission Director in Afghanistan (2008-09), Bolivia (2005-08) and the Philippines (2002-05).
Before joining USAID, Yates spent six years in Haiti with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and carried out two years of field research in rural Paraguay.
Yates holds a Ph.D. and two Masters Degrees in Anthropology from Columbia University, and completed postdoctoral studies in agricultural and rural development through the Rockefeller Foundation. He speaks Spanish and French.
Last updated: May 10, 2013