At the UN General Assembly this morning, President Obama again put development at the center of his foreign policy vision, laying out an agenda for how nations can cooperate to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges, including poverty and disease, nuclear proliferation, climate change, the economic crisis, and conflict.
Last night, President Obama spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. During his address, he reiterated the Administration’s commitment to development as a core pillar of U.S. foreign policy.
The response has been positive to news that the White House will be conducting an interagency review of all U.S. global development policy. Momentum is clearly growing for a refocused approach to development and how the U.S. manages its foreign aid.
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.
MFAN PRINCIPAL: Momentum Will Feed Hill’s Shot at Fundamental Reform
The administration continues to signal interest in reforming U.S. global development policies and operations, as evinced by President Obama’s statements last month about the need to make our development policy more coherent and our aid more effective, as well as Secretary of State Clinton’s constant drumbeat about strengthening development capabilities. Aside from growing concerns about why an administration so committed to development has not nominated its development leaders, Americans and our friends around the world should be asking: Will reforms reach the level of fundamental change that is needed?
Last week, Sheila Herrling at the Center for Global Development vented frustration over the failure to name a USAID administrator by comparing the circus-like process to a popular nursery rhyme. As she notes, what was once funny about the unfilled position is now disconcerting given the Adminstration’s supposed commitment to development. See the blog post below, followed with over a dozen comments suggesting nominees for USAID Administrator.
Farmer Out. Who’s Next for USAID?
On Monday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof used a blog posting to lament that the Obama Administration’s vetting process led global health pioneer Dr. Paul Farmer to drop out of the running to be nominated as Administrator for United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Who do you think should be the next nominee for USAID Administrator?