Over her career, Bonnell has developed and delivered over a billion dollars of humanitarian and development programming in over 25 conflict, post-conflict and emergency countries, in almost every sector from education to stabilization, for more than 30 international bilateral donors, 10 U.N. agencies, the military and the private sector.
She has held positions with every side of development including: implementers, donors, policy makers and beneficiaries. With more than 20 years of experience in management and communications, Bonnell has worked with: Wall Street and “dot.coms,” and on projects such as the Middle East Peace Plan, Afghan and Iraqi elections, tsunami response, Pakistan and Haiti earthquakes, construction projects, and major logistics operations.
After years of working overseas, Bonnell returned to the United States with USAID as the senior adviser on business transformation and knowledge management. She then served as the Chief of Engagement for the Office of Education, where she helped shape the USAID education strategy.
Bonnell was a founding senior member of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID. Most recently, Bonnell served as the Division Chief for Applied Innovation and the Office Director for Engagement and Communications in the Lab. She has supported over 9 Grand Challenges and Prizes, Development Innovation Ventures, many prize, hackathon, and other internal and external innovation approaches. Bonnell was the creator and founder of the Global Innovation Exchange and Global Innovation Week.
Bonnell has been recognized by teams inside USAID, across the Interagency, development and the private sector for actively building coalitions around innovative approaches.
Bonnell believes that first and foremost innovation is "A voracious appetite for excellence" and it is the job of every person to innovate. She is honored to work hand in hand evryday at USAID with some of the most innovative people on earth.
Prior to her career in development, Bonnell worked as director of marketing for the Internet Trade Association, where she helped Wall Street and the corporate world understand the impact that the Internet, innovation and technology would have on business, customers and society. She is co-author of the book “Get your Dream Job.”