Five Questions for USAID Confirmation Hearing

Raj ShahTomorrow, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Obama Administration’s nominee for Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

If confirmed, Dr. Shah would become the leading voice for U.S. efforts to alleviate poverty, fight disease, and create economic opportunity at a time when we face big challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and across the developing world.  He will also step into the middle of a cross-government effort to reform U.S. foreign aid to make it more effective and accountable in the face of these challenges.

The following questions are critical to the success or failure of this transformative reform effort, and should be directed to Dr. Shah by members of the Committee tomorrow:

  • If development is to truly be a coequal partner to diplomacy and defense in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, what does that mean for the role of USAID as the U.S. government’s primary development agency vis-à-vis the State Department and the Defense Department?
  • Given the strong support in the Obama administration for elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense, should the USAID Administrator have a seat at the National Security Council to serve as the voice of development in these interagency debates?
  • What are your top development priorities, and how do you see USAID’s role in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq?
  • How would broader foreign assistance reform – including reexamining the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act – serve to make U.S. development activities around the world more effective?
  • How do you propose to change USAID’s downward trajectory and steer its elevation and resurgence as a global leader on development?

Click here to read MFAN’s statement on Dr. Shah’s nomination.

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