Jim Packard Winkler

Senior Trade and Investment Advisor | jim_winkler@dai.com

After graduating from Georgetown University’s McDonough Business School, Jim accepted a two-year assignment in Costa Rica as a small business advisor with the Peace Corps rather than the well-heeled path of Wall Street and corporate America that most of his classmates followed. “I found myself working on tough, real life issues that really made a difference in people’s lives in Costa Rica,” Jim said. “I was asked to do much more in a foreign culture and language than I would have been doing in a typical career at home.”

Jim specializes in private sector development, economic growth, competitiveness, and governance. After completing a Ph.D., he joined DAI in 1990 and has since worked for eight years in the head office and 14 years in Bangkok, Jerusalem, Zagreb, and Hanoi. In 2004, he completed a high profile 18-month assessment for the U.S. Agency for International Development on enterprise and economic growth strategies, providing a framework for a new era of development projects that integrate institutional and policy reforms with support for the private sector.

Jim has worked at the highest levels of government with cabinet-level officials and business leaders to develop innovative institutional reform strategies in each country. The creation of innovative institutions such as Paltrade in Palestine to promote trade and economic integration in the global economy and the prime ministers’ administrative reforms in Croatia and Vietnam required careful design and consulting services within the political, economic, legal, and institutional realities of each country. 

  • Ph.D. in international relations from The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Report on “Enterprise Growth Initiatives: Strategic Directions and Options” for USAID in 2004, a new approach to emerging and conflicted economies
  • Fluent in Spanish and basic knowledge of Arabic, Thai, and Vietnamese
  • Board of Directors, Corporate Council on Africa

“I believe we can make a big difference to improve the prosperity of people in any situation. I like taking on challenges when people say something isn’t possible.  Helping Palestinian manufacturers to improve productivity and export during the Intifada, or a prime minister or minister reduce corruption and improve government services, turns the status quo upside down for the better.”

— Jim Packard Winkler