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Paul Sugg studied political science, history and creative writing at the University of Iowa, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He earned a master’s degree in international development/development economics from Iowa State University. He also studied irrigation and water resources, obtaining a graduate minor in the field.

Mr. Sugg has worked extensively in developing countries, mostly Africa. In 1977, he served as a volunteer for Operations Crossroads Africa, building schools in Ghana. He did his field work for his master’s thesis in Kenya, designing an appropriate technology irrigation scheme which re-captured approximately 70% water loss in the furrow scheme they were using. He has worked extensively in rural development with smallholder farmers. This has included work in Nigeria, Guinea, and Uganda. The economic models and strategic design models he developed for smallholder farmers were used by institutions in Africa (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, or FARA, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, or IITA) resulting in huge decreases in abject poverty. He has also been to Togo, Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivore. He knows what African village life is like – he’s been there, lived there. He has seen the victims of civil war in Africa and Joseph Kony. He and his wife have worked extensively with other NGO’s in addition to funding his own development company to help alleviate the sufferings of the poor and eradicate poverty.

Additionally, he has worked in Southeast and Central Asia, most notably Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. He was in Central Asia on 9/11. He was one of the first American businessmen in Vietnam since the war and has also worked in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Japan. He is currently president of AppTech Development International in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he resides with his wife, Saule.