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Skirma Kondratas serves the Heifer International Board as an At-Large director residing in the Central Eastern Europe region. She brings nearly three decades of experience from public and private organizations in Europe and the U.S, working as agency director, consultant, policy advisor and analyst specializing in social policy and community development.
Skirma's prior employment include holding the position of vice minister of Social Security and Labor for the Republic of Lithuania, where she provided oversight to policy and/or operations for welfare, social services, disabilities, NGO and family programs. She also directed anti-poverty analysis and initiatives.
She is co-founder of Community Action Lithuania, a small California-based non-profit supporting community programs in Lithuania. She is a board member of the Children's Support Centre in Vilnius.
Skirma previously served as social policy advisor to the Lithuanian prime minister, and as expert/project coordinator on social inclusion for the European Union-funded Civil Society Institute in Vilnius. In the U.S., she has worked as executive director of the National Commission on America's Urban Families (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and as assistant secretary of Community Planning and Development (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).
Earlier in her career, Skirma was the director of the Office of Analysis and Evaluation and the administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has held research positions or fellowships with the Urban Institute, the Hudson Institute, The Heritage Foundation and the Republican National Committee. She is the author of numerous articles and reports on poverty, homelessness, hunger and welfare.
Skirma holds an MBA in managerial economics from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and a master's in East European history from Boston University. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in Russian history.