Albany native USAID, Southern Africa Mission Director
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - WALB’s Jim Wallace was joined by Leslie Marbury, an Albany native, who is also the mission director for USAID in Southern Africa.
Tell us about your job and what you do in southern Africa?
“Well, thank you, Jim. It’s so kind of you to interview me today and I’m excited to talk to you. So I work for the United States Agency for International Development, which is a part of the US government that delivers foreign assistance. So what that means in real terms is people like me live in the country that we’re assigned to and work with the government, private sector and civil society groups to identify some of the challenges in the country and figure out ways that the United States can partner. To make some progress on that challenge so often we work on health issues. We work a lot on the economy to help people become better trading partners, and in some countries we help lift up the education system as a few examples. In southern Africa, so I live in Pretoria here with my family and cover South Africa and five other countries in the region. That’s basically what I did here.”
Do you feel like you’re making progress there in that region?
“Well, I do. I mean, I think the US government has a lot to be proud of. I look at. Some of the big programs that we worked on for years, so southern Africa and South Africa were hit really hard by the HIV AIDS epidemic. And we as the US government really came in full force to help find people that were infected. To help develop medicine that allows people if their own medication to suppress their viral loads and live a normal. Life and to work in communities to prevent people from getting it. So now I think there’s an entire generation in southern Africa that’s thriving because of U.S. government assistance.”
Making a difference and I know that makes you feel good. Leslie Marbury with USAID. Thank you very much for joining us.
“Well, thanks so much. I am really proud of all we do. I think the one point I would make Joan that I haven’t made yet is at the heart of what we do at USAID. We’re always looking to how to work with a country, but to have to do it in a way that promotes American values and that creates benefits in the United States and in the countries that we work in. And so that for me is something that really drives me. Thanks Jim.”
Copyright 2023 WALB. All rights reserved.