Incoming Executive Director
An internationally recognized expert on the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Mr. Gambino provides leadership and guidance to institutions, foundations, and advocates. He brings more than 30 years of experience in international development and foreign policy to support initiatives that promote stability, democracy, and human development. Drawing on his experience that began as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Mr. Gambino’s work has been guided by a deep commitment to supporting initiatives that improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable women, children, and men in conflict zones.
Mr. Gambino first went to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then called Zaïre) in 1979 as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching English at the secondary and university levels. He subsequently worked on the staff of the Select Committee on Hunger of the U.S. House of Representatives, for the U.S. NGO coalition InterAction, and at the Department of State. He has held several leadership positions, including Special Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs at the Department of State and as the Public Policy Director at InterAction.
In 2009, he testified before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on African Affairs on the post-election situation and governance issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Mr. Gambino has advised and lent his expertise on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Great Lakes Region of Africa to numerous public and private organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Carter Center. For seven years Gambino worked for USAID, reopening the USAID Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, subsequently, serving as the Mission Director in Kinshasa for three years, receiving USAID’s Superior Honor Award. His work has been published by the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Bank, and his analysis on the implications of current events in Central Africa have appeared in the New York Times, BBC, PBS, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Politico, CNN, and other media outlets.
Mr. Gambino sits on the Board of Directors of Women for Women International. He also served as Interim Chief Executive Officer of Women for Women International for much of 2014.
He received a Master in Public Affairs degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees from Oberlin College. He is fluent in French and speaks basic Swahili. He is married with two grown children.