Press Release

Alan Pieper Joins CNFA as New Vice President of Operations and Compliance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — CNFA welcomes Alan Pieper as the new Executive Vice President of Operations and Compliance.  Pieper brings 17 years of experience in managing United States Agency for International Development (USAID) contracts, as well as an extensive background in bank management, SME & agriculture value chain development, and foreign & local investments.

Pieper succeeds Jack Swartwood, who is retiring. Swartwood has been with CNFA since 1992 and has served as Senior Vice President of Operations and Compliance since 2005.

“We thank Jack for his dedicated commitment to CNFA over the years,” said CNFA President and CEO John H. Costello. “During his tenure, he oversaw dozens of programs all over the world and always maintained the integrity of the company.  He has been a tremendous asset to CNFA and we wish him well in his retirement.”

“With Alan’s arrival, I am delighted at this excellent addition to CNFA’s team,” Costello said.  “Alan’s impressive experience as the Chief of Party on various projects throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East, particularly his work in value chain development and improving the business climate in the agriculture sector, aligns with CNFA’s overall mission.”

Most recently, Pieper served as the Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Public Private Partnership (PPP) Development Program (P3DP) in Kiev, Ukraine, which aimed to promote the use of public-private partnerships to expand public infrastructure and improve public services for Ukrainian citizens.  The central focus of P3DP revolved around the implementation of 10 successful PPP pilot projects across a broad range of economic sectors. Prior to Ukraine, Pieper worked throughout Eastern Europe and the Middle East in financial services, new business creation and sustainable development.  He directed the startup of 17 full-service retail branch banks throughout Kosovo while serving as CEO of the full-service American Bank of Kosovo. Within two years of start-up, the bank attracted 65 million euros in deposits and went on to disburse 55 million euros of SME and agricultural loans with 97% on-time repayment.  Eventually, Pieper moved the bank to the private sector through its sale to Raiffeissen Bank in Vienna, Austria.

In the Middle East, Pieper implemented the Palestinian Agricultural Partnership Activities Project, by transforming traditional low-value Palestinian agriculture in the West Bank into high-value products for international markets.  He also facilitated access to bank finances for small Palestinian farmers to acquire greenhouses, thus stimulating the growth of jobs, income and export earnings in Palestine’s agricultural sector.

Prior to his work in the international development field, Pieper spent 16 years in the private sector.  Nine of these years included various management positions with the $3 billion Farm Credit Bank of the St. Louis district.

Pieper is a Certified Public Accountant, holds a Master of Business Administration, Finance degree from Washington University and a Master of Science, Agribusiness Economics degree from Southern Illinois University.

CNFA, based in Washington, D.C., stimulates economic growth and improves rural livelihoods by empowering the private sector.  CNFA’s unique approach is founded on six core capacities: 1) commercial input supply and farm services; 2) economic resilience and rapid recovery; 3) agricultural productivity, food security and nutrition; 4) value chain development; 5) volunteer technical assistance and 6) access to finance. CNFA has worked in over 38 countries worldwide and impacted the lives of more than 70 million people.  For more information, visit



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