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Alex Thier

CEO, Lapis Communications
Alex Thier is CEO of Lapis, a leading education, media, and communications company working across South and Central Asia, the Middle East, and North and East Africa. Alex was appointed by President Obama as Chief of Policy, Planning, and Learning at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and as the senior official in charge of assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In these roles, he coordinated policy on key priorities including sustainable development, technology and innovation, climate change and renewable energy, gender equality and economic empowerment, development finance, and democracy and governance. Alex managed 1000+ staff with over $10 billion in programs and oversaw the creation of the largest-ever U.S. investment in women’s empowerment and the first-ever U.S. Strategy to End Extreme Poverty. Alex previously served as Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London, a preeminent global think tank with programs and over 500 staff, fellows, and associates in 40 countries, and as CEO of a $100m+ global anti-trafficking fund. He was Co-Director of the bi-partisan Task Force on U.S. Strategy to Promote Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism, and has held appointments at Stanford University, Freedom House, the US Institute of Peace, and the United Nations.