Michael McGirr is a Co-Director for our fledgling program. A National Program Leader in the Center for International Programs at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), he is responsible for developing and managing foreign and domestic projects in collaboration with American universities. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. McGirr managed the agency’s Polish/American Extension Project, which involved collaboration with 31 land-grant institutions. He went on to develop agency initiatives in the former Soviet Republics, Central America, Africa, and, most recently, managed the Iraq Agricultural Extension Revitalization project.
He is currently overseeing the Afghanistan Agricultural Extension Project. In 2003, he launched the National Initiative to Internationalize Extension – an effort aimed at strengthening the global dimension of state and local extension programs here in the United States. He has served on the boards of several successful non-profit organizations, including Friends of Sierra Leone (FoSL) and Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR); and, is currently President-elect of the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). Mr. McGirr began his career in international development as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, as did our founder RoseAnn. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies.