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Gad Perry
Texas Tech University

Gad Perry is a professor of Conservation Science and the Senior Director of the International Research and Development Division (IRDD) at Texas Tech University (TTU), as well as the Director of the International Center for Arid and Semi Arid Land Studies. He has served on the faculty at TTU since 2002 and heads the IRDD since its creation in 2014. He received a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Zoology from Tel Aviv University in Israel, where he was born, and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Perry is interested in the application of biological insights to real-world problems. His main research interest centers on conservation biology, with particular emphasis on invasive and endangered species issues and on urbanization. He is a member of the IUCN invasive species and iguana specialist groups and has conducted field studies in the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guam, Israel, and the U.S., often collaborating with local colleagues. Current and recently-completed student projects involve reptile ecology in Madagascar, biogeography in the Caribbean, iguana conservation in the Virgin Islands, sustainable civet use in Ethiopia, urban ecology of birds in Lubbock, and at-risk lizards in Texas. He has served as the Editor of the Journal of Herpetology, in addition to several past and ongoing stints as Associate and Section Editor for various other journals. His teaching currently includes international ecology and conservation courses (alternately visiting Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe) and a graduate course on scientific writing at TTU, as well as a graduate-level courses for Ethiopian civil engineers taught as part of a European-funded capacity-building project. In 2019, he was honored by Texas Tech with the Faculty International Scholarship Global Vision Award.

State Department Profile

Office of US Foreign Assistance (F)
Office of Policy (F/P)

The Office of US Foreign Assistance’s mission, on behalf of the Secretary of State, is to optimize the impact of U.S. foreign assistance by aligning resources to foreign policy strategy objectives, measuring effectiveness, and promoting evidence-based policies. Within it, the Office of Policy seeks to marshal new thinking, partnerships, and research to forge more effective policies for our assistance. Its primary areas of work largely focus around three main objectives: 1) Develop policy recommendations for leadership on the effective and strategic use of U.S. foreign assistance; 2) Improve State, USAID, and interagency stakeholder engagement to foster unity of purpose on U.S. foreign assistance policies; and 3) Cultivate partnerships with key external stakeholder groups to align policies and amplify effectiveness.

Because of his environmental background, Dr. Perry has primarily been tasked with two topics. One which involves ongoing activities by many branches of the U.S. government, is addressing illegal trafficking in wildlife. A global problem that is driving species to extinction and often tangled with other illegal trafficking, there is bipartisan interest in ensuring that the contribution of the U.S. to combating it is effective, well-coordinated, and well-managed. The other is a new research focus for the office: urbanization. With most of humanity now living in cities and with the fastest growth occurring in Africa and other developing regions, urbanization is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century, and one that affects many other areas of interest for the U.S. government. This developing project aims to identify what is currently being done in this area, what the likely challenges and opportunities in this arena are, and what policy should direct future U.S. foreign aid as a consequence.