Focused on future, RTI International strengthens executive leadership team

Aaron Williams to head government relations and corporate communications, Paul Weisenfeld leads international development portfolio

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International is pleased to announce changes to its executive leadership team. 

Aaron Williams, who has led RTI's International Development Group (IDG) since 2012, will become executive vice president of Government Relations and Corporate Communications. Paul Weisenfeld will take over as executive vice president of IDG. The changes are effective July 1. 

"Never before has government affairs and corporate communications been as integral to achieving RTI's mission as it is right now," said Wayne Holden, Ph.D., president and CEO.  "Aaron and Paul reflect the best of RTI, and the entire organization is grateful for their service and excited that they will continue to lead us forward in these areas of significant opportunity, growth and innovation."  

Williams moves into the newly created position after years of experience in international development with RTI and the U.S. government. He was vice president of international business development at RTI from 2003-2009, after which he was appointed by President Obama as Director of the U.S. Peace Corps, a role he served in until returning to RTI in 2012. Williams also previously served for 22 years as a senior official at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), where he attained the rank of career minister in the Senior Foreign Service.

"From developing breakthrough cancer treatments, to tackling major energy and environmental challenges, to teaching children in developing nations to read, RTI's work has improved countless lives in the United States and globally," Williams said.  "As head of government relations and corporate communications I am honored to champion our work and forge the partnerships and understanding needed to make the contributions of our next 50 years even more resonant." 

Weisenfeld first joined RTI in 2013 as vice president of global programs after more than 20 years at USAID, where he achieved the Senior Foreign Service's highest rank of career minister. He played an integral role in establishing the Bureau of Food Security, which he then directed, and setting up the agency's heralded Feed the Future initiative. 

In his new role, Weisenfeld will apply his extensive knowledge of international development to advance RTI's mission of tackling some of the world's most pressing global challenges. Weisenfeld will lead RTI's efforts across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East to solve complex health and education problems, improve early childhood development, enhance accountability in governance and tackle the global youth employment crisis.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to lead an extraordinarily talented and passionate team of development professionals committed to improving the human condition around the world," Weisenfeld said. "While the hardships and obstacles faced by billions in the developing world remain stark, advances in technology, innovation and practice are bringing us hope, opportunity and results. Collaboration across groups at RTI presents the opportunity to create evidence-based solutions for the world's most complex problems."