Polly Dunford has dedicated over 25 years to building teams and partnerships that lead to meaningful, measurable progress toward health and development goals around the world. She has almost 20 years of experience with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Cambodia, Haiti, Jordan, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Washington, D.C., most recently serving as the global director for HIV/AIDS. In this role, she led the agency’s efforts to help countries achieve and sustain epidemic control of HIV/AIDS under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This included overseeing a $2.5 billion annual budget, leading a team of 160 staff, and providing guidance and direction to 50 USAID missions worldwide.
Dunford’s experience at USAID also includes serving as mission director for Cambodia, Southern Syria assistance coordinator, USAID/Jordan deputy director for Syria-related programs, and deputy director of the USAID mission in Mozambique.
Dunford has managed large, diverse portfolios targeting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and child health, reproductive health, and nutrition. She helped launch PEPFAR in Haiti during 2002–2004 and led the rapid scale-up of PEPFAR in Nigeria and Mozambique. She also oversaw the development of the Global Health Initiative strategy in Mozambique, including the President’s Malaria Initiative and the Feed the Future Initiative.
Before joining USAID, Dunford served as the country director of the Near East Foundation in Morocco and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Côte d’Ivoire.
A native of New York City, Dunford holds a master’s degree in public health from Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Northwestern University.