Larry Sampler, M.A.
Vice president for Administration and Finance, Chief Operating Officer
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Larry Sampler joined the leadership team at MSU Denver in April as vice president for Administration and Finance/COO. Sampler previously served for two years as the president of the One Earth Future Foundation in Broomfield. There he led an international staff of over 100 professionals in support of “peace through governance,” primarily in countries emerging from conflict, including Somalia and Colombia. During his tenure, the foundation increased its operating budget by almost 80% and, for the first time, leveraged investments of roughly $1 million to secure external funding of over $12 million.
From 2010 to September 2016, Sampler was a senior government official for the United States, leading development assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He began as the senior deputy assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development and, upon being competitively selected into the Senior Executive Service, was appointed as assistant administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. In that role, he managed annual budgets ranging from $2 billion to over $6 billion and engaged with the White House and the leadership of other countries in formulating policies for the region. Sampler testified under oath multiple times before Senate and House committees and made numerous public appearances at think tanks across the country. He has had op-eds published in the New York Times and other papers and has appeared on national and international news shows.
Sampler has served domestically and overseas as a senior leader in for-profit (Creative Associates International) and not-for profit (the Asia Foundation) organizations. He has worked as a senior advisor to the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and for the commander in Iraq. He has served at the senior level in the United Nations (chief of staff for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) and the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (deputy chief of staff and operations, deputy political director and the international arbiter governing Srebrenica in the aftermath of a horrific slaughter in that village). At the U.S. State Department, Sampler served as the senior deputy coordinator in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization, where he led efforts to create whole-of-government responses to postconflict engagements for the U.S. government. In Afghanistan, Sampler received the Constitutional Medal of Honor from then-President Hamid Karzai for his efforts coordinating the Emergency and Constitutional Loya Jirgas in 2002-04.
Sampler served in the U.S. Special Forces before attending the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in applied physics, and Norwich University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in diplomacy. Sampler has lived and worked in conflict zones in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.