Former Deputy Administrator, USAID

James Kunder is principal at Kunder-Reali Associates, an Alexandria, Virginia-based consulting firm, which specializes in international development, post-conflict reconstruction and civil-military relations. As a member of IDS International’s Advisory Board, he leverages his extensive government and private sector experience managing international development, relief, and reconstruction programs in order to support innovative and agile synergies that work to bridge the civilian-military gap.

Prior to founding Kunder-Reali Associates, Kunder worked with global impact firm Palladium to lead a major evaluation project for the US Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. As part of this work, he examined a number of US government programs designed to counter violent extremism abroad to determine whether they were achieving their objectives.

For more than two decades, Kunder served in a variety of roles for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US government organization responsible for administering foreign assistance programs in ninety nations, eventually serving as deputy administrator from 2006-2009. His earlier positions include as assistant administrator for Asia and the Near East; director for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan; deputy assistant administrator for External Affairs; and director of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance. Through his current work at IDS, Kunder hopes to support the organization’s continued and increased engagement with USAID and the numerous opportunities that exist for collaboration.

Kunder left the Agency from 1993-1996 to serve as vice president for program development at Save the Children Federation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in the United States and around the world.

Kunder served as a legislative director in the US House of Representatives and senior transportation analyst for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His public service career began in the US Marine Corps, where he served as an infantry platoon commander from 1970 to 1973.

Kunder is an affiliated expert at The Lugar Center and a member of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network’s executive committee. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in American Government and a Master’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University.  He pursued doctoral studies in international relations at The George Washington University.  He teaches at the Foreign Service Institute, USAID, and the Marine Corps University. Kunder has authored numerous publications on international humanitarian issues, reconstruction, peacekeeping, and crisis management.