What we do



Follow ODI

Alex Thier

Honorary Senior Research Associate

Portrait of Alex Thier

Prior to founding Triple Helix, Alex held senior leadership roles at the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In his role as Chief of Policy, Planning, and Learning he represented the US in key international development fora, including on Financing for Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. As Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, he managed USAID’s multibillion dollar assistance programme, and more than 1000 staff in Washington, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region. 

Alex also played a leadership role in the creation of several major international initiatives, including the Vision to End Extreme Poverty, the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership, the Addis Tax Initiative, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, and the first ever US–China agreement on global development cooperation. At the US Institute of Peace, he led efforts to prevent genocide and mass atrocities and to help divided societies overcome the root causes of conflict. Earlier, he served as a legal advisor to the constitutional commissions of Afghanistan and South Sudan.

Alex has also held leadership positions in the United Nations (UN), Stanford University and several NGOs, and began his career as a humanitarian aid worker with the UN and Oxfam. He has authored and co-authored books, articles and op-eds in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy. He has a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School, a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a bachelor’s degree with honours, from Brown University. Alex is a US national. He is married to Tamara Gould, a documentary filmmaker and producer, and they have two children.

  1. Transforming fragile states: forging a new consensus

    Briefing/policy papers

  2. Announcement – ODI Executive Director stepping down

    Press Release

  3. A World Bank for the new world order

  4. STATEMENT: ODI response to the IPCC climate change report

    Press Release

  5. Leaders warning progress too slow: a view from UNGA

  6. Tech, innovation and development: what I’m reading

  7. Do we need a new approach to support fragile states?


  8. ODI in conversation with Achim Steiner


  9. Bangladesh’s development story: policy, progress and prospects


  10. Penny Mordaunt: five ways the UK can deliver renewed global leadership

  11. China’s new development agency: five expert views

  12. Pathways for Peace: our experts' impressions of the new report

  13. MEDIA NOTE: New US Secretary of State – ODI expert available and statement

    Press Release

  14. The paradox of aid: lessons from Afghanistan


  15. Matthew Rycroft appointed DFID’s new Permanent Secretary – ODI statement

    Press Release

  16. Robert Mugabe resigns as president of Zimbabwe – ODI statement and experts available

    Press Release

  17. ODI in conversation with Muhammad Yunus


  18. Alex Thier on UK Department for International Development

    Press Release

  19. STATEMENT: Shanta Devarajan appointed to ODI Board of Trustees

    Press Release

  20. Will new faces at UNGA 72 reform or wreck the UN?

Elsewhere on the web