Damiana Astudillo

Millennium Challenge Corporation

2022 fellow

International Development Leader in Agriculture, Rural Development, Public Policy, and Social and Gender Inclusion.

Ms. Astudillo has over 20 years of experience in leadership, strategic thinking, stakeholder coordination, and project management. Most recently, she was the Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a small independent U.S. Government Agency that promotes poverty reduction through economic growth. In this role, she led a multi-disciplinary team who focused on enhancing climate change resilience for communities in Niger who are dependent on agriculture and livestock. She also provided technical leadership for the development of a new program that will support growth and diversification of the Malawian agriculture sector.

In addition, Ms. Astudillo spent four years as the Associate Director of Gender and Social Inclusion where she developed and oversaw initiatives in support of women in construction, and developing a more gender inclusive utility company.

Prior to MCC, Ms. Astudillo was a Congressional Hunger Center Fellow with Bioversity International in Rome and The Foundation for the Promotion and Research of Andean Products in Bolivia where she worked to promote quinoa and other underutilized native crops. She has also worked at FINCA Perurin the field of micro-finance and village savings and loans and as a job coach in Syracuse, New York. As a job coach, she helped newly resettled refugees and immigrants navigate the educational and workforce systems. Ms. Astudillo has worked internationally in Ghana, Malawi, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Philippines, Moldova, Bolivia, and Peru.

Ms. Astudillo has a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Smith college, a master’s degree in public policy and international development from the School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University,and is fluent in Spanish and French.

As a WHLDP Fellow, Ms. Astudillo is assigned to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with the Personnel and Performance Management/Customer Experience Team to support work across federal agencies in response to President’s Biden Executive Order on “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal government.”


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