Silvia Petrova leads the Office’s work on the intersection between gender, technology and sustainable urban service, including the agency’s work on solid waste management and prevention of plastic waste entering the oceans. Her other areas of expertise include land governance, climate change and natural resource management, and private sector engagement.

Educational Background

Ms. Petrova holds a master’s degree in Geospatial Information Science for Development and Environment from Clark University, Worcester, MA and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science from Technical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Regional Experience

Ms. Petrova’s currently work focusses on Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Sri Lanka as part of her ocean plastic prevention work. She also worked in Burkina Faso, Niger, and Ghana supporting USAID programming and previously worked in Peru, Guyana, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia.

Previous Experience

Ms. Petrova has over 13 years of experience in international development field. Prior to joining the urban team within the Land and Urban Office she focused on the integration and use of innovative geospatial technology to support land and resource governance as well as cross-sectoral programming for climate change, biodiversity, and food security initiatives. Prior to joining USAID, she worked at Winrock International where she applied geospatial technology to development projects focusing primarily on agriculture, forestry, and climate change sectors.


  1. Women’s economic empowerment in the waste management and recycling sector: USAID perspective – presentation at the Ocean Plastic Pollution, Waste Management & Gender: Ocean Conservancy Panel, 2019 (link to presentation)
  2. Does de facto forest tenure affect forest condition? Community perceptions from Zambia (co-author) – Forest Policy and Economics, 2017 (link)
  3. Benchmark map of forest carbon stocks in tropical regions across three continents (co-author) – PNAS, 2011 (link)