Rachel Surkin

Rachel Surkin

Senior Technical Expert
Africa, Europe & Eurasia, Middle East & North Africa, West Bank/Gaza, Civil Society, Education, Leadership, Youth

Rachel is a senior technical advisor who supports project design, partnerships, and proposals at IREX.

Rachel brings over 20 years of experience in youth development, education, leadership development, community development, and international exchanges. She is committed to elevating innovative approaches for holistic, youth-led, locally sustainable programming across all of IREX’s sectors.

Since arriving at IREX in 2008, Rachel has designed, led, and provided oversight to a portfolio of youth, leadership, and education programs funded by USAID, the Department of State, and privately funded projects implemented in the Middle East, Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. As deputy director for education programs, Rachel led IREX’s new business development efforts for education and youth programs and provided technical advising across its portfolios. She has served as cochair for the Alliance for International Youth Development’s Effective Practices Working Group, and she actively contributes to a number of youth development associations. From 2010 to 2013, she served as the cochair for the Society for International Development – Washington’s Youth in Development Workgroup.

Prior to joining IREX, Rachel worked as the programming and training officer for Peace Corps Azerbaijan, where she developed education, youth, and community economic development programs and all related training for Peace Corps volunteers. Previously, she held several positions in Peace Corps/Washington, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, and taught at the secondary level and in adult education programs. Rachel holds a master’s degree in international education from George Washington University.