May 24, 2022 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs Lester Munson, Larry Nowels, and Tessie San Martin.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) congratulates Dr. John Nkengasong on his confirmation by the United States Senate to serve as the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator in the Biden-Harris Administration. The position leads the U.S. Government’s implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and carries the title of Ambassador-at-Large.
“MFAN is very pleased that the U.S. Senate has now confirmed Dr. Nkengasong. Having a person of Dr. Nkengasong’s caliber and expertise in the position of the Global AIDS Coordinator strengthens U.S. leadership in the critically important areas of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and in the global healthcare space,” stated Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer of FHI 360.
In November of 2020 MFAN published Modernizing Foreign Assistance: Recommendations for Turbulent Times, a set of proposals for U.S. development policy for the incoming administration. In it we noted, “political leadership of development agencies is critical to give career staff clear direction; in its absence, decisions go unmade and progress stagnates. Unfortunately, in prior administrations, foreign assistance agencies have gone several months without Senate-confirmed leadership.”
“Confirmation of Dr. Nkengasong represents the final confirmed leadership position among the key U.S. development agencies for the Biden-Harris administration. MFAN had urged early nomination and confirmation of these positions, and this month’s completion represents a full 16-month process for the administration and the U.S. Senate to nominate and confirm these important nominees. Especially in these challenging times, this process was regrettably lengthy,” observed Lester Munson, Co-Chair of MFAN and Principal at the BGR Group.
“As we noted in our March statement congratulating Alice Albright and Scott Nathan on their confirmations, MFAN looks forward to working with the leaders of the U.S. development agencies – U.S. Agency for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Development Finance Corporation, and now PEPFAR – to lead U.S. efforts to respond to the countless natural and manmade crises, as well as the development and economic challenges facing people across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to emphasize the importance of aid effectiveness principles for greatest impact of taxpayer dollars as this distinguished team carries out its work and wish them much success,” concluded Larry Nowels, MFAN Co-Chair.