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UNF alumna awarded USAID Administrator’s Award for Civil-Military Cooperation

Bella Genta Headshot

Bella Genta, a University of North Florida interdisciplinary studies Class of 2018 alumna, was awarded the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator’s Award for Civil-Military Cooperation for engaging in collaborative efforts to bridge the gap between civilian and military units for effective humanitarian assistance.

“Civil-military cooperation plays a crucial role in addressing complex challenges and fostering sustainable development,” said Genta. “I am grateful to be part of a team that values proactive collaboration and innovation.”

Genta works as a foreign service officer with USAID, specializing in environment and natural resource management. For the past several years, she has worked with nonprofit organizations, academia, think tanks and the U.S. government on topics ranging from environmental security to protected areas management. 

She is currently a part of USAID’s Peru mission and its South America regional platform, supporting activities related to commodity-driven deforestation, private sector engagement and climate-smart agriculture. Genta also serves an additional voluntary role of civil-military coordinator, for which she was recognized by the award. Civil-military coordinators around the world are tasked to establish and maintain USAID's relationship with the Department of Defense (DoD) at the regional and mission level. As the primary contact for non-disaster-related DoD interactions in the field, Genta fosters and strengthens effective collaboration between the agency and the military and helps to ensure that their objectives align.

“Receiving the prestigious Agency Award is a true honor,” said Genta. “I am particularly proud of the work my co-workers and I have done in addressing climate security issues in the Amazon. The joint efforts between USAID and the Department of Defense are crucial to achieving our humanitarian and development goals and hold the transformative power to confront security challenges and promote global resilience and prosperity.”