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Maria Rendon-Labadan, Ph.D.

U.S. Agency for International Development Chair
Marine Corps War College®

Contact Information

Email: maria.rendon@usmcu.edu
Areas of Interest: International Development Programs


Ph.D. Public Policy, Syracuse University
M.A. University of Texas-Austin
Attended Executive Business Programs at Harvard Unviersity and Cambridge University (Women International Forum)
B.A. Vassar College


A Minister Counselor (MC) ranked Foreign Service Officer at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Maria Rendon has almost 30 years of experience designing and implementing development activities and leading international development programs in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America.


Specialties include: anti-corruption and governance, national and local level institutional strengthening, economic development and policy reform, agricultural development/food security, decentralization, civil society engagement/community development, election monitoring, human and indigenous rights, disaster response, conflict mitigation, and inter-agency solutions to international development problems. Maria is also knowledgeable about strategy and program formulation, policy development, monitoring/evaluation/learning (MEL) methodologies, results frameworks/project design, mission strategic plans, and donor coordination.


Most recently assigned to the U.S. Development Lab in Washington DC, Maria advanced innovation and facilitated co-creation/human-centered design methodologies for projects, evaluations, and strategies. She designed opportunities to re-frame development challenges and discover, test, and accelerate innovative solutions; she equipped teams with innovation skills; and facilitated a dialogue on the practice of innovation and design across the development enterprise. She was also the primary liaison with MIT’s D-Lab, bridging academia and governmental practices in innovation. Overseas assignments include: China (2016-2012), the Philippines (2012-2008), Egypt (1999-2005), Indonesia (1995-1999), and Eastern Europe (1991-1995).


As a Sloan Fellow, Maria obtained her PhD in Public Policy from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and her Masters from the LBJ School at the University of Texas-- Austin. She attended executive business programs at Harvard and Cambridge through the Women International Forum. She sits on the board of Catholic University's Integrated Economics Master's Program. In addition, Maria has been a visiting professor for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program at U.C. Berkeley as well as a visiting scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University.


Born in Guatemala, Maria is bilingual (English/Spanish) and conversant in Bahasa Indonesia as well as Italian. Maria has two college-aged children and when not volunteering for social causes, she likes to hike, bike, and practice