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Former U.S. ambassador to lead international programs

By Kathy Barnard, University Communications

ChaudhryPULLMAN, Wash. – Asif J. Chaudhry, a career minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service who served as ambassador to Moldova in Eastern Europe and has held other leadership positions with the U.S. government around the globe, is Washington State University’s new vice president for international programs. His appointment begins June 1.

“Dr. Chaudhry’s hiring reflects a much bigger, broader, bolder vision for international programs than we have had in the past,” said Dan Bernardo, WSU provost and executive vice president. “He brings a wealth of experience literally from around the globe to the position, as well as a deep understanding of the strengths of Washington State University.

“An important component of the strategic plan is to increase WSU’s global presence and impact worldwide,” Bernardo said. “Hiring Dr. Chaudhry is a step in that direction.”

Global transformation

Chaudhry said he was attracted to the position by the potential to transform WSU into a global institution.

“WSU has an immense capacity in globally relevant fields of teaching and research and is poised to attract collaborators and partners from countries and institutions from around the world,” he said.

“In addition to the fact that WSU has always had a special place in my heart, the unequivocal commitment and desire on the part of the president and the provost to transform WSU into a truly global institution made this a unique and exciting opportunity that was impossible to pass up,” he said.

Chaudhry added that this will be a true homecoming for his family since his wife Charla grew up in Pullman and is a 1985 WSU graduate.

WSU alumnus

A WSU alumnus, Chaudhry earned his doctoral degree in agricultural economics at the Pullman campus in 1987. He holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics from American University of Beirut.

He serves as vice president and general sales manager of the Commodity Credit Corp. at the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), managing a $5.5 billion credit guarantee program to support U.S. exports to countries around the globe. Prior to this assignment, he served as the foreign policy advisor to the chief of the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon where he led development of a strategic plan of global engagement to support implementation of President Obama’s defense strategy.

Service in Eastern Europe, Mideast

Chaudhry’s first international position was as an attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland beginning in 1992. He served as a counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in the mid- to late-1990s and then became the principal advisor for USDA development projects in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

During a four-year assignment as minister counselor for agricultural affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Chaudhry oversaw trade relations with five countries in the Middle East including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. He returned to Washington to lead the Office of Global Analysis as a deputy administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he helped develop trade policy and strategy for the World Trade Organization and free trade agreement negotiations.

From 2008 to 2011, he served as ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau, Moldova, in Eastern Europe. There he managed a multi-agency embassy and implemented a strategy that helped strengthen democracy and structural reforms. He led implementation of massive development projects that put the country on a path toward much closer relationships with the United States and European Union.


Kathy Barnard, WSU University Communications, 509-335-8055,


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