Christopher Burns

Christopher Burns

Christopher Burns is the Chief Digital Development Officer (CDDO) for USAID and the Director for the Technology Division within the Innovation, Technology, and Research (ITR) Hub.

In the CDDO role, he coordinates and tracks programmatic Digital Development investments across the Agency; represents USAID’s programmatic digital technology work across the interagency and with external stakeholders and partners; and guides the adaptation of the Agency’s programs as the digital landscape evolves. He also chairs the Digital Sector Council that meets monthly with representatives from across USAID’s bureaus and independent offices to discuss and coordinate on Digital Development programming.

In the role of Director for Technology, Christopher leads technical teams focused on Digital Finance, Development Informatics, Digital Inclusion, Emerging Technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and advanced data and geospatial analysis, and the role they play in driving an inclusive digital economy. In his more than twelve years with USAID, he has spearheaded and served as technical lead for a number of public-private partnerships, including the Digital Impact Alliance, the GSMA Connected Women Program and the Alliance for Affordable Internet. He also spearheaded USAID’s first-ever Digital Strategy released in April 2020.

Prior to USAID, Christopher spent nearly ten years with the Peace Corps, as Program and Training Officer for Peace Corps/Niger, Country Desk Officer for Central Asia, and Agroforestry Advisor in Ghana. He has supervisory and management experience and technical background in digital technology, natural resources management, agroforestry, food security, gender equality, and solar power design/installation. All told, he has 25 years of international development experience, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, including 6.5 years living on the continent.

Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Environmental Management from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York and a Master of Science in Development Management from American University in Washington, DC. 


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  • Organization
    USAID Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub
  • Profession
    USAID Chief Digital Development Officer and Director, Technology Division 
Related sessions
30 May 2024
14:30 - 16:00 CEST Geneva
Craig Jolley (USAID Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub), Stefanie Falconi (USAID Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub), Christopher Burns (USAID Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub)

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