This weekly posting includes key news stories and opinion pieces related to foreign assistance reform and the larger development community.
Today, Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), Ranking Minority Member Richard Lugar (R-IN), and a bipartisan group of Senators took a concrete step towards making U.S. foreign assistance more effective by passing the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S.1524) out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
After ten months of waiting and wondering, yesterday President Obama nominated Dr. Rajiv Shah to be Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). MFAN welcomed the news with a key message for policymakers and the community: For Dr. Shah to effectively lead critical, ongoing U.S. development efforts – foreign assistance reform, the global food security initiative, and Afghanistan-Pakistan, to name a few – he should be given a seat at the National Security Council from which he can lend a distinct voice for development to ongoing foreign policy discussions, and budget and policy authority should be restored to USAID, as provided for in S.1524, the Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009
MFAN applauds the nomination of Dr. Rajiv Shah to be Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We are hopeful that his unique combination of knowledge about global health, agriculture, and other issues will allow him to provide a strong and indispensable development voice as major decisions are made about U.S. foreign policy. Congress should confirm Dr. Shah quickly.
Upcoming events in the world of MFAN and beyond.
On Friday, President Obama nominated Daniel W. Yohannes as CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Yohannes’ strong financial services background will ensure good returns in investments made through the MCC and his wealth of leadership experience makes him a strong and able candidate.
Nearly a week into the poll we launched on who should be the next USAID Administrator, three names have risen to the top (though fans can still vote for their favorite and change the course of this race!).
MFAN strongly commends President Obama for signing a landmark Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy. The directive establishes clear White House leadership on modernizing our country’s approach to global development, adding to the tremendous momentum generated by actions taken by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the State Department.
Based on input from experts across the development community, MFAN has created a poll with a simple question: Who should be the next USAID Administrator? Please take a moment to vote on your choice for who should be the leading voice on elevating and modernizing U.S. efforts to alleviate poverty and hunger, fight disease, and … Continue reading We Need a USAID Administrator Now! Who Should it Be?
Mark Green Calls for Republican Support for Foreign Assistance Reform in The Washington Times
In an op-ed today in The Washington Times, former Republican representative from Wisconsin and Ambassador to Tanzania Mark Green urges his conservative allies to put partisan politics aside and embrace the foreign aid reform that has been recently introduced in both the House and the Senate.