Chloe Schwenke

Chloe Schwenke is an educator, human rights activist, feminist, researcher, and international development practitioner. Chloe is an openly transgender Quaker woman. Chloe has authored many publications, including a 2018 memoir Self-ish: A Transgender Awakening by Red Hen Press, where she described her uplifting life story.

Her first book was Reclaiming Value in International Development: The Moral Dimensions of Development Policy and Practice in Poor Countries (Praeger 2008). She has also written chapters in seven edited volumes.

Chloe Schwenke was raised as Stephen in a Marine Corps family and was sent off at age fourteen to “man up” at a military academy. Later—and still embodied as a man—she ventured abroad to work in some of the roughest regions of Africa, the Gaza Strip, Turkey, and many other locales.

She has lived and worked in sub-Saharan Africa for over a decade, and her career includes international development project experience in over 40 countries. She also served under President Obama as the first openly transgender political appointee in the federal foreign affairs agencies.

Chloe has worked in a senior capacity with some of the leading American development, research, and human rights organizations. She has also generated a lengthy list of accomplishments in her periods as an independent consultant on projects of the Human Rights Campaign, USAID, the US State Department, the World Bank, the UN, the Inter-American Development Bank, and international donors.

Schwenke received her Ph.D. from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park. In 2013 she was chosen as Alumna of the Year.

The same year she also received the National Center for Transgender Equality’s National Public Service Award.

Dr. Chloe Schwenke is President and Founder of the Center for Values in International Development, based in Washington, DC.

Chloe Schwenke is a Quaker and is the parent to a son and a daughter, now both adults.

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