Curt Grimm '79
While obtaining my BA in Anthropology and History at UNH, I was very intrigued with the international development work being done in Africa by Anthropology Professors Stephen Reyna and Richard Downs. After UNH I spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso (then Upper Volta). My work involved working with women’s community garden groups; mainly constructing water wells, but also providing technical and market access assistance. The work was very rewarding and enjoyable and it set me on the particular community development path I followed ever since. Following the Peace Corps I earned my MA and PhD in Anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where there was a special emphasis on Development Anthropology.
In the early 1990s I started working in the Africa Bureau at the U.S. Agency for International Development. My duties including conducting research and providing technical assistance to promote community participation in project planning and implementation, and later, as the Senior Social Science Advisor in the Africa Bureau, I had additional responsibilities in areas such as strategic planning and performance monitoring and evaluation, donor coordination, and the mainstreaming of gender considerations into Africa Bureau programs. Rural community development, through sustainable economic growth and the provision of improved social services has remained the primary orientation of my work, however, and while working at USAID I had the good fortune to apply my skills and gain experiences by traveling and being involved with programs and projects all over sub-Saharan Africa.
Since 2006 I have been the deputy director at the Carsey School of Public Policy (preciously the Carsey Institute) at UNH. Carsey conducts research, training and engagement in a wide range of domestic and, increasingly, international policy issues and topics. In 2011 we launched a new Masters in Community Development Policy and Practice degree program and we are currently working on plans for a new Masters of Public Policy degree.