Noteworthy News — 12.3

This weekly posting includes key news stories and opinion pieces related to foreign assistance reform and the larger development community.

MFAN Statement: Initial Bill Passed by SFRC Adds to Aid Reform Momentum

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.

MFAN Helps Spread the Word about USAID Administrator Nomination

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 Statement: USAID Nominee Shah’s Leadership Needed on Development

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.

UPDATE: USAID Administrator Poll Leaders, New Ideas

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: New Presidential Study Directive an Unprecedented Step Forward on Development

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.