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Monday, March 8, 2021

Success Stories

Jonathan Gandomi: 2008 PMF

I entered State's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) during a critical period when the bureau was standing up the USG's new Civilian Response Corps (CRC), an elite group of post-conflict and stabilization experts drawn from 8 government agencies who could be rapidly deployable to failed or fragile states.  In addition to joining the Standby Component of the CRC, I worked within a ten person interagency team to define and propose reconstruction and stabilization "best practices" for future training and operations.  This included designing new structures and processes for USG teams at the country-level in the post-crisis period, as well as establishing a system to extract lessons learned from USG personnel concluding their tours in Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In October 2009, I deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the Standby Component to serve as one of three USG advisors working within the Ministry of Finance to support the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS).  Following President Karzai's re-election, the Government began a revitalized effort to better define and prioritize their national development plans.  This included working closely with the Minister of Finance and his top advisors, as well as a number of other ministries to prepare a consolidated strategic development plan, delivered at the foreign minister-level Kabul Conference in July 2010.

My second rotation took me to Bangkok, Thailand, to work in the Asia regional bureau of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). I joined a team of experts in humanitarian emergencies and disaster response who deliver training exercises for UN country offices in the region, specifically how the office would operate during a major crisis, such as a flood, earthquake, or typhoon.  In just two months of the rotation, I've helped facilitate exercises in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore, and am supporting their efforts to further define civilian-military practices in emergencies with a complex peace and security dimension.