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Vice President for Finance/Admin & COO
Metropolitan State University/Denver
Sampler previously served for two years as the President of the One Earth Future Foundation in Broomfield, Colorado. There he led an international staff of over one hundred professionals in support of “peace through governance,” primarily in countries emerging from conflict; to include Somalia and Colombia. He spent time in both countries as well as in regions of the world where governance was challenged, developing relationships with senior government officials, local civic leaders, and the international community. During his tenure, the foundation increased its operating budget by almost 80% and, for the first time, leveraged investments of roughly $1M to secure external funding of $12M.
From 2010 to September of 2016, Sampler was a senior government official for the US, leading our development assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He began as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID and, upon being competitively selected into the Senior Executive Service (SES), was appointed as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs (OAPA). In that role – with the protocol equivalence of a 3-star General Officer in the military or an Assistant Secretary of State – he managed annual budgets ranging from $2 billion to over $6 billion dollars and routinely engaged with the White House and the leadership of other countries in formulating policies for the region. Sampler testified under oath multiple times before both 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 also, on occasion, appeared on national and international news shows.
Sampler has served domestically and overseas as a senior leader in both for-profit (Creative Associates, International) and not-for profit (The Asia Foundation) organizations. He has worked as a senior advisor to the Commander of US forces in Afghanistan and separately, for the commander in Iraq. He has served at the senior level in the United Nations (Chief of Staff for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)), and the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE, as Deputy Chief of Staff & Operations, Deputy Political Director, and the International Arbiter Governing Srebrenica in the aftermath of a horrific slaughter in that village). At the US State Department, Sampler served as the Senior Deputy Coordinator in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization (S/CRS), where he led efforts to create whole-of-government responses to post conflict engagements for the US government.
Sampler served in the US Special Forces (the “Green Berets”) before attending Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics and, later, 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.
Sampler is married to Ms. Barbara Smith and resides in Denver, Colorado.