Justin T. DiVenanzo is a commissioned Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). An expert at managing strategic, results-driven acquisitions, Justin specializes in government contracting and public procurement. He is dedicated to protecting the taxpayer’s interests worldwide while ensuring the effective delivery of foreign assistance.
Justin currently serves in Pretoria, South Africa as the Director of Contracts and Grants for Power Africa, a presidential initiative that recently won the 2018 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America (Sammie) Medal for National Security and International Affairs at the Partnership for Public Service Gala (the “Oscars” of government service). Since 2014, Power Africa has supported 119 power generation projects reach financial close bringing more reliable electricity to the fastest growing economies in the world. More than 57 million people in sub-Saharan Africa now have access to electricity that did not prior to 2014.
Previously, Justin served Pakistan where he administered a $700 million portfolio that supported health, stabilization and governance efforts. He started his Foreign Service career in Liberia as the Acting Office Director and Deputy Contracting Officer. Before joining USAID, Justin worked in the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as a corporate associate, concentrating his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisition and corporate finance.
A native of Highland Park, Illinois, Justin graduated with a JD from Georgetown University Law Center where he worked as the Managing Editor of The Tax Lawyer. He received a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at Wisconsin, he served as the Vice President of the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter of Phi Delta Theta. After graduating from Wisconsin, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Benin. During his first year, he worked as an advisor to local microfinance institutions in a small village. During his second year, he coordinated a youth HIV/AIDS awareness program (Amour & Vie) in Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin.
Justin has received recognition for his public service, recently winning the Mission Contracting Officer of the Year award from the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. For his achievements as both an individual and a team member, Justin is a two time winner of USAID’s Superior Honor Award, three time winner of a Meritorious Honor Award, and received a Superior Accomplishment Award for the provision of humanitarian assistance while serving in Pakistan.
In addition to his public service, Justin loves to travel the African continent with his wife, Lauren, and their Rhodesian Ridgeback, Covington “Covy.”