Global Seminar Spotlight: Mark Doyle

Mark Doyle
Dr. Mark Doyle, Agricultural Development Officer in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Global Seminar Spotlight: Mark Doyle

This is a continuation of our "IANR is Global" series, which highlights the many ways internationalization is woven through the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources: through research collaboration, government and private industry partnerships, extension work, student educational experiences and the IANR community from around the world. 

This edition is specifically focused on the many global voices we have or have invited to campus who will be sharing their expertise through seminars during fall semester 2020. Dr. Mark Doyle, Agricultural Development Officer in the Foreign Service of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be speaking about his own very global career and how students can prepare for their own on October 20 at 1:00 p.m. as part of the Institute's Global Voices Seminar Series. We appreciate the expertise we are fortunate to have from all over the world, as shown by their many and varied contributions to the work of the university and our continued mission to create a globally engaged institution. To this end, we want to help our campus community get to know each other (and the world) more, starting with these experts.

Where is home for you? Where did you receive your education?

I grew up in a small town in northern Illinois, and my wife grew up on a farm in southern Illinois, so when we are home, we spend most of our time between these two places. Currently we live in Bamako, Mali in West Africa where I work for the US Agency for International Development as an Agricultural Development Officer. We arrived in Mali in June of 2018 and are scheduled to leave in June of 2022 when we will likely move on to another overseas assignment.

I received my undergraduate degree in biology from Wabash College in Indiana. I then went on to get a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Go Badgers!!

Tell us a little about your path to where you are now.

My path to international work really began as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa. This experience combined with my degrees have given me the opportunity to do international work in academia and to have various roles in the US Government including my current position as a Foreign Service Officer.

What is something people don’t know (or that you wish they knew) about where you live?

Mali has a very rich culture and history including the ancient city of Timbuktu. The population is over 80% Muslim. Mali has a rapidly growing and young population; nearly 60% of Malians are under the age of 20.

Why is it important for institutions like the University of Nebraska to create opportunities to hear from people with experience from different parts of the world?

Looking back, one of the things that limited my early career choices was simply a lack of awareness of international opportunities and careers that were well suited to me. I hope that opportunities like this help students learn about and consider new career possibilities that perhaps weren't previously on their radar.

What is one piece of advice you would share with students, especially those who are interested in an international career?

It is never too early to begin planning your career. One thing I encourage students interested in international development to do is to look through positions posted on sites like Find positions that interest you, look through the qualifications, and then ask yourself: "What, if any, skills or experience would I still need to develop in order to get this type of job?"

We encourage the campus community to attend Mark’s webinar at 1:00 p.m. on October 20 via Zoom.


Are you giving a seminar in fall 2020 (or the future) and have an international element to your work, studies or experiences you'd like to see highlighted? Contact Brianne at