Emmy B. Simmons
Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Emmy B. Simmons was sworn in on April 2, 2002, as Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 40 years, USAID has been the lead U.S. government agency providing economic and humanitarian assistance to transitioning and developing countries.
A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Simmons has more than 30 years experience in international agriculture and economic development. Since 1997 she has served as USAID deputy assistant administrator in the former Bureau for Global Programs, Research and Field Support, where she headed the Center for Economic Growth and Agricultural Development.
From 1994 to 1997, Simmons was senior program officer for USAID's mission in Moscow where she oversaw an aid portfolio of more than $1 billion. From 1991 to 1994, she
served in USAID's regional office for east and southern Africa as supervisory program economist. Simmons also has served as supervisory agricultural officer for Mali and as regional agricultural advisor for West Africa, in addition to holding a number of supervisory positions in the Africa Bureau in USAID's Washington headquarters.
Simmons began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines in the 1960s. She later held a number of agricultural research and nutrition positions in Nigeria and Liberia until 1978, when she joined USAID as an agricultural economist.
She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has a master's degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, where she won the prestigious American Association of Agricultural Economics award for best master's thesis.
Simmons is fluent in French and conversant in Russian, the African language of Hausa and the Filipino language of Ilocano.
Born in Suring, Wis., Simmons resides in the District of Columbia with her husband, Roger, a recently retired 20-year veteran of USAID.