After more than four years leading the Inter-American Foundation, President & CEO Paloma Adams-Allen will take on a new post as Deputy Administrator for Management and Resources for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Paloma’s vision, leadership, and tireless commitment to the IAF’s mission ushered in a time of momentous growth and transformation for the agency. During her tenure, we saw strengthened bipartisan support and a 67% increase in our base appropriation. We built new partnerships and explored new ways of investing in grassroots innovation beyond grantmaking, including our first impact investment. These efforts magnified our impact by extending our reach to seven new countries and growing our portfolio of direct-to-civil society grants to nearly 400 across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under Paloma’s leadership, the IAF launched and expanded key initiatives to address root causes of irregular migration in Central America, empower women entrepreneurs, increase disaster resilience in the Caribbean, and support displaced Venezuelans across the region. To elevate the role of locally-led development in U.S. foreign policy, we deepened our engagement with the interagency and shared important grassroots’ perspectives with counterpart agencies. Last but certainly not least, Paloma recognized the need to invest in and modernize the agency’s internal capacity. She re-envisioned the Office of Learning and Impact, stood up a new Public-Private Partnerships Unit, and filled critical staffing gaps to ensure that the IAF would continue delivering on its mandate and excel in addressing both enduring as well as emerging developmental challenges.
In Paloma’s words, “It has been the honor of my life to lead the IAF. I’m immensely proud of what the agency accomplished these last four years, which was made possible by the work of a committed team of gifted, creative, and tenacious individuals who will undoubtedly continue to do great things. And I look forward to continuing to champion the IAF’s vision of grassroots development.”
The IAF will remain forever grateful for Paloma’s leadership and wish her continued success in her new role.
October 8th was Paloma’s final day with the IAF. The IAF Board of Directors selected Chief Operating Officer Lesley Duncan to serve as the acting President & CEO.