The San Diego World Affairs Council & the World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California present the
U.S. Soft Power in Foreign Policy Series
Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
Environment, Ecology & Range and Livestock Management (consultant)
"A Cowboy in Mongolia: In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes"
Thursday, 8th July 2021 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. (PST)
A tour-de-force of Daniel Miller's time as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal; cowboy in Montana; consultant and researcher in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia; a US Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Service Officer in Afghanistan, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, and Pakistan; and a consultant with a non-governmental organization (NGO) and World Bank in Mongolia after retiring from USAID. A thread that runs through much of Miller's experience is the search to understand rangeland ecosystems and the people who make their living in the steppes (in both Asia and the West).
Daniel Miller is a retired Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He grew up on a dairy farm in Minnesota and began his international development career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal (1974-78) where he lived with yak herders and learned to speak Nepali and Tibetan.
Returning to the United States after four years in Nepal, he worked as a cowboy on large cattle ranches in Montana for a number of years before eventually finishing a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and starting graduate school at the University of Montana to study rangeland ecology. In 1984, he returned to Nepal to lead treks and started working on range-livestock projects in Nepal and Bhutan for the Asian Development Bank and USAID but continued to cowboy in the summers in the U.S. when not overseas.
In 1988, he began research on wild yaks in Tibet for a Ph.D. and also worked for numerous international development organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Bhutan, China, and Mongolia. When he was 50 years old, he finally got a real job as a Foreign Service Officer with USAID and served as an Agricultural Officer in Washington, D.C., China, Afghanistan, India, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, and Pakistan.
He retired from USAID in 2017 and then worked in Mongolia for an American NGO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank. He now makes his home in Buffalo, Wyoming and continues to remain involved in international development.
Daniel has published numerous scientific articles, book chapters, and photographic books about his work. He has had photographic exhibitions in Kathmandu, Beijing, and New Delhi. He is also a collector of Tibetan and Mongolian rugs and textiles and has lectured about Tibetan rugs at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., in Beijing and Hong Kong. Some of his work can be viewed at http://maptia.com/danielmiller and at http://www.blurb.com/user/wildyakman
His presentation, “A Cowboy in Mongolia: In Search of the Sacred in the Steppes” will highlight an uncommon career in international development and natural resource management, focusing on his quest to understand rangeland ecosystems and peoples who make their living herding livestock.