Michelle Bekkering
Michelle Bekkering

United States

Director of National Engagement, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

Bekkering currently serves as Director of National Engagement at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). USGLC represents more than 500 businesses and non-profits across the country who support America’s global leadership; advocating for smart and effective investments in development and diplomacy to advance our interests at home and abroad.

Prior to joining USGLC, Bekkering served in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2017-2021, where she nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and the Environment (E3). A policy expert, Bekkering led USAID’s efforts to address some of the most complex, wide-raging development challenges around the world; leading inter-Agency policy processes resulting in the U.S. Government Strategy on International Basic Education, the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace and Security, and the United States Federal Strategy for Addressing the Global Issue of Marine Litter. Bekkering also provided the U.S. Congress with technical expertise on wide-ranging bipartisan legislation including the Women's Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018 and the Save our Seas Act 2.0 of 2020.  During her service, Bekkering represented the U.S. Government in multiple high level bilateral and multi-lateral policy fora, including the 2017 G7 Development Ministerial, the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the 2017 and 2018 UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, and head of the USG delegation for APEC’s Women and the Economy Forum in 2018.

A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives, Bekkering was a leading architect of the White House led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP); the first whole of U.S. Government initiative designed to economically empower 50 million women by 2025. Bekkering also oversaw the $200 million W-GPD Fund at USAID which in two years catalyzed partnerships with more than 450 partners to reach its goals.

Prior to joining USAID, Bekkering spent most of her career in the international development field. Bekkering joined the International Republican Institute in 2005; a non-partisan, non-governmental organization dedicated to advancing democracy, rights, and governance worldwide. During her twelve years at IRI, Bekkering provided leadership to Institute initiatives in Washington, D.C. and abroad, including by serving as residential country director for the Institute based in Indonesia. Bekkering oversaw the Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network from 2010-2013; a global initiative designed to increase women’s political participation and leadership. Under Bekkering’s leadership, WDN expanded to more than 70 countries worldwide.

Prior to joining IRI, Bekkering served in numerous positions in the U.S. Government. She worked in the European and Eurasian Affairs Directorate of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush, and on Capitol Hill as an aide to Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46).

Bekkering has served as a trainer, speaker, and accredited election observer on five continents. A committed supporter of character-driven leadership, she is an alumna of the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), a past mentor for the Women’s Initiative fellowship program at the George W. Bush Institute and a member of the McCain Institute’s Global Leaders Advisory Council.