Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2011: Anne Ralte
Anne Ralte was born in Mizoram, a remote, mountainous part of north-eastern India, with its own distinctive language and culture. Her early childhood, in a marginalized tribal area with no running water or electricity, was spent working on the family farm, as well as undertaking traditional “women” work, i.e., fetching water and firewood. Anne’s father died when she was five years old. Her mother, although illiterate, knew that her children would have to learn English for them to have a better life. This is how Anne ended up in a small charitable institution in Calcutta (West Bengal) that received USAID’s Title II school feeding program. When Anne’s mother died, an American family, through the Christian Children’s Fund, supported her schooling and brought her to the U.S. in 1971.
Anne’s early life prepared her well for many challenges in her 35-year career in international development. She recently assumed new responsibilities as Senior Advisor at USAID’s Office of Human Resources focusing on training and workforce requirements related to the Administration’s new policies -- QDDR, PPD-6, NSPD, and USAID Forward. From 2006-2010, she served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Administrator where she led on several issues including USAID’s policy on civilian-military cooperation. In 2006, she led the development of the Humanitarian Assistance program hierarchy for the Foreign Assistance Strategic Framework at State Department. From 2001-2006, she served in USAID’s Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination where she coordinated policy and strategic planning related to humanitarian assistance, including for the first joint USAID-Department of State Strategic Plan. Before 2001, she focused on food security, micronutrient deficiencies, child survival and health, working for the Office of Food for Peace, Helen Keller International, WHO and UNICEF. Anne is grateful to the U.S. for helping her -- she now helps others through USAID.