Leveraging her expertise in international development, foreign policy, diplomacy, and advocacy, Fatema Z. Sumar leads efforts to fight poverty by transforming global systems in reaching vulnerable populations.
As Vice President of Compact Operations at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Ms. Sumar oversees all compacts which are MCC’s signature grant investment vehicle to reduce poverty through economic growth. In this role, she manages all of MCC’s technical and regional divisions working on infrastructure, the environment and climate change, the private sector, gender and social inclusion, human and community development, land and agriculture, procurement, financial management, strategic partnerships, and contracts and grant management globally. She previously served as MCC’s Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America where she managed all MCC compacts in these regions.
Ms. Sumar returned to MCC after working in civil society as the Vice President of Global Programs at Oxfam America where she oversaw regional development and humanitarian response to fight the injustice of poverty. Her work contributed to initiatives on gender justice, climate justice, local humanitarian leadership, strategic monitoring and evaluation, digital rights, and grant management systems.
Ms. Sumar has a distinguished career in the U.S. government in both executive and legislative branches. She previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State where she led U.S. efforts to expand regional economic and energy connectivity and as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). In Congress, she was a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee focused on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the broader region.
Ms. Sumar sits on Advisory Boards for Princeton, Cornell, and Indiana universities. Her work has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The New Republic, The Hill, and other outlets. She is a frequent guest speaker and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.
Ms. Sumar graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, where she received the prestigious Stokes Award, and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University. She studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.