Barry Greville-Eyres, Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting Advisor to USAID South Sudan (from Australia)
Having worked under Jesse's leadership and guidance, as a senior advisor on a USAID program in South Sudan, what struck me most was his 'team empowerment' approach within an extremely complex and dynamic operating environment. This was characterised by high levels of trust, communication, and mutual respect, culminating in a strong and seamless team. Since this team was in direct support of the USAID Mission and a critical extension thereof, the knock-on effect was that USAID received reliable and real-time strategic insights as US programs/projects pivoted from development to humanitarian assistance in the midst of the renewed crisis. Jesse and our team were the key 'on-call, go-to resource group' that provided a stretched USAID Mission with evidence, information, advice and psycho-social support to inform and enable Mission staff to make timely, strategic program decisions and inform country-wide program planning. Jesse's people management and interpersonal skills are exceptional.
On a personal level, Jesse has been extremely helpful to me as a sage, responsive and trusted friend and mentor. His was instrumental, through key contacts and active lobbying, in securing my follow-on assignment after an untimely evacuation from South Sudan. This was during the period in which Jesse was coming to grips with his own traumatic recovery from being attacked. Subsequently, Jesse has been unfailing in his interest and ongoing support of my career. As one of my primary professional references, Jesse has always made himself available to work closely with recruiters as they seek the best possible fit for overseas assignments. He has incredible value to add at both coaching individuals and building institutions.”