Christian Holmes is Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3), and the Agency's first Global Water Coordinator. Holmes is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s global water portfolio. This includes implementing the Water for the World Act of 2014, which aims to provide first-time or improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in the world's poorest communities. He also shapes and leads the implementation of USAID’s Water and Development Strategy, and serves as the senior most advisor to the Administrator on water matters.
Since rejoining USAID in January 2010, Holmes served initially as the Senior Advisor for Energy and Environment. In 2011, USAID designated him as the Global Water Coordinator. In addition to serving as the Global Water Coordinator, he was designated in 2013 as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in the E3 Bureau, managing the offices responsible for global climate change; water; land tenure and resource management; and forestry and biodiversity. In 2015, USAID designated him Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. In his recent assignments, Holmes worked in the field with USAID missions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Yemen, Ghana, Haiti, Liberia, Kenya, and Ethiopia on water and food security matters.
Holmes brings to USAID extensive experience in the international economic development, humanitarian assistance and environmental protection sectors.
In the international economic development and humanitarian assistance field, he served as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (State/RP), and Acting Director of the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). At TDA, he directed a global economic and trade development agency, concentrating on China. At OFDA and State/RP, he led relief efforts to help the victims of war and natural disasters, including East Timor, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Guatemala, the Sahel region in West Africa and Lebanon. Also at USAID, he served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise and the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on International Private Enterprise.
In the environmental field, his career spans both the public and private sectors. This includes, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he served as the Agency's third ranking executive and held simultaneously two Senate-confirmed positions, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resource Management. He also served as EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Federal Facilities Enforcement and Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. He received the EPA Gold Medal. At Tenneco, Inc. a global manufacturing company, he served as Executive Director, Environmental Safety and Health.
As a USAID Senior Foreign Service Officer with rank of Minister Counselor, he twice received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. He received the Arthur S. Flemming Award, given annually to five leaders across the U.S. Government, for his international disaster assistance achievements which included the development of an early warning drought detection system in Africa’s Sahel region.
Holmes served in the U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant, Civil Affairs, receiving the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism.
He graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, receiving a B.A. in Government. In recognition of his international economic development accomplishments, he was one of the first five graduates in Wesleyan's history to receive an Honorary Master of Arts degree.