James T. Ham is the Country Director at Peace Corps in South Africa and has
served in this role since January 2021. Prior to this he was the Country
Director for the Peace Corps Uganda program from August 2018 to his
arrival in South Africa. Mr. Ham is a Senior Executive with over 30 years of
service in the United States government. Building upon his experience as a
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Guinea), he has strategically directed
international volunteer programs in a variety of sectors including public
health, education, small enterprise development and agriculture. He
oversees all aspects of strategy development, administration, and policy
and program implementation, to advance the Peace Corps mission. His
distinguished career spans across all regions of Africa and includes senior leadership positions
that have shaped globally impactful programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and the Peace Corps.
Mr. Ham previously served as the Deputy Country Director at CDC Côte d’Ivoire (2009- 2011 and
2015 – 2018), and as the Deputy Director for Management and Operations at CDC Zambia from
(2011 – 2015), during which he completed a 5-month detail to support the Ebola Virus Disease
response in Guinea (November 2014 – March 2015).
Mr. Ham is passionate about servant leadership, and his Peace Corps service also includes roles
such as the Country Director for Peace Corps Cameroon (2007 – 2009), and the Country Desk
Officer for Africa Region (2001 – 2006). He has provided direct oversight of complex Peace Corps
programs in Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Benin, Gabon, Chad and Burkina
Faso. Further, he served on multiple occasions as the Country Director for Peace Corps
Cameroon. (Extended periods in 2004, 2005 and 2006).
Mr. Ham has been consistently recognized for his dedication to international volunteerism, and
embodiment of core leadership principles. He is a proud veteran, and served honorably in the
United States Navy. He is fluent in French, and holds a Master of Arts in International Education
from American University, and Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education from North Carolina
Central University. Mr. Ham is an alumni of the University of Denver – International Career
Advancement Program (2004), the Harvard University Senior Executive Fellows Program (2018),
the African American Federal Executives program (2019), and the American University Key
Executive Leadership Program (2020). He is currently pursuing a PhD in Executive Leadership at
the University of Charleston, WV. He is married to Sharoya Ham and has three sons, Jeremiah,
Myles, and Malachi.